ISLAMABAD, August 7: The United States has asked Pakistan to take tangible and satisfactory actions against proscribed terrorist organisations and their leaderships to strengthen its case to move out of the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
A senior government official told Dawn on Wednesday that a US delegation was in Islamabad this week to independently assess steps, actions and measures identified during the Florida meetings of the FATF in June this year and the progress made by Pakistan since then.
The delegation comprised acting assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs ambassador Alice G. Wells, US Treasury officials Scott Rembrandt, Grant Vickers, David Galbraith and others, who also met Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Tuesday.
“The adviser briefed the visiting delegation on the measures pertaining to economic reforms being undertaken by the
Government of Pakistan to ensure economic discipline, efforts being made towards implementation of FATF Action Plan and the key challenges being faced,” said an official statement.
The official, who has been part of Pakistan’s team interacting with the FATF and Asia Pacific Group (APG) over the past year, said Islamabad had taken significant steps since the FATF meetings in June.
He added that other foreign powers helped Islamabad engage foreign consultants to support and prepare key stakeholders such as Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to take actions and formulate reports keeping in view the FATF requirements.
He also informed the US delegation that the National Assembly’s standing committee on finance had cleared two critical bills relating to amendments in Foreign Exchange Regulations and anti-money laundering law.
However, the visiting delegation was more interested in a time frame when they would become laws, properly passed by the parliament and signed by the President of Pakistan.
The US would be sharing the assessment with the APG along with a report prepared by Pakistan for discussion in September, which would then form the basis of the FATF meeting due from October 13 to October 18 in Paris to decide Islamabad’s compliance with requirements of the global financial watchdog relating to anti-money laundering and to counter-terror financing. (ANI)