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Pakistan Gets Big Relief From FATF Amid Coronavirus Crisis

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Amid the countrywide lockdown due to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Tuesday gave an unexpected relief to Pakistan by extending the submission deadline of the country’s performance report for five months.

DAWN reported that the international watchdog has given Pakistan a five-month grace period to submit its performance report on 13 targets to counter money laundering and terror financing in the country.  The newspaper quoted a senior government official as saying, “We have just received an intimation from FATF through the State Bank of Pakistan that our review scheduled for June 21-26 in Beijing has been postponed. Now the country’s performance will be reviewed in October.”

He said Pakistan was earlier required to submit a performance report by April 20. “The postponement is apparently caused by the uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis has provided additional time to Pakistan to remove its existent deficiencies.”

On February 21, the Paris-based global watchdog against financial crimes gave Pakistan a four-month grace period to complete its 27-point action plan against money laundering and terror financing. It noted that Pakistan had delivered on 14 points and missed 13 other targets.

FATF strongly urged Pakistan to meet the 13 targets and complete its full action plan by June 2020 or else it would be placed in the watchdog’s blacklist.

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