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How Can Pakistan Escape From Being Blacklisted By FATF?

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To escape from being placed on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) blacklist, Pakistan will have to prove that it has fulfilled the global watchdog against terrorism financing’s 15 demands, including coordination between law enforcement agencies at the federal and provincial levels regarding terror financing.

One of the other demands is that Pakistan reassess militant outfit rankings and in order to comply with this demand the government has recently placed many terror outfits on high-risk, removing their previous moderate or low-risk status. In order to comply with this demand, the government has decided to start monitoring and re-examining the banned outfits’ activities and profiles under heightened security checks at all layers of legal, administrative, investigative and financial regimes.

The global watchdog against financial crimes was dissatisfied with Pakistan’s earlier effort of considering these entities as low to medium risk.

It had said: “Pakistan did not demonstrate a proper understanding of the terror financing risks posed by Daesh, AQ (al Qaeda), Jud (Jamaatud Dawa), FIF (Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation), LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba), JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad), HQN (Haqqani Network), and persons affiliated with the Taliban”.

Moreover, Pakistan will have to show that the authorities are identifying and taking action against illegal transfer of money for terror-related activities. The country will have to demonstrate that there is an effective implementation of terror sanctions by enhancing the capacity and support for prosecutors and the judiciary.

Furthermore, the State Bank of Pakistan has been directed to initiate outreach programmes in order to identify risks to financial institutions and the SBP will have to show to the FATF whether the measures taken in order to curb the risks were implemented by the financial institutions or not in May 2019. Pakistan will also have to prove that action will be taken against financial institutions if they violate the policy by competent authorities.

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The FATF also underlined that the country needs to show that the authorities are identifying cash couriers and enforcing controls on illicit movement of currency and understanding the risk of cash couriers being used for terror financing.

The National Action Terrorism Authority (NACTA) is required to establish a policy for all the responsible law enforcement agencies in accordance with which they can initiate financial inquiries and investigation of terrorist groups or their members, and ensure that the policy is implemented.

Pakistan will also have to demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial service.

The country will also have to ensure that facilities and services owned or controlled by designated persons are deprived of their resources and the usage of the resources.

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