Caretaker Finance Minister, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar Friday here on expressed Pakistan’s commitment to fully cooperate with Asia Pacific Group (APG) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and support the delegation to complete its task of mutual evaluation.
She was talking to the APG delegation that called on her, according to press statement issued by the Finance Ministry.
A team of Asia Pacific Group (APG) Secretariat and International Assessors was on five-day visit to Pakistan in connection with mutual evaluation of the country’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regime, the statement added.
The visiting delegation during the meeting, discussed with the Finance Minister the purpose of their visit, issues in compliance of policy actions and the schedule of further activities concerning the mutual evaluation.
The Minister gave a strong sense that the concerned authorities would be able to complete their respective tasks as early as possible.
The Minister urged the APG delegation to be flexible and practical in their deadlines and allow full opportunity to the authorities to provide necessary materials and reports to APG. She particularly highlighted the transition of government as a consequence of the General Elections 2018 in the country and maintained that the incoming government would need further time to gear itself with the requirements of mutual evaluation and related matters.
Earlier, the delegation met with the operational teams of different Ministries, organizations and authorities concerned with AML/CFT, including Ministries of Finance, Interior, Foreign Affairs and Law & Justice, State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, CDNS, NACTA, FIA, FBR-Customs, FBR-IRS, NAB, ANF, Provincial CTDs, and FMU.
The meetings enhanced the understanding of the APG delegation on Pakistan’s technical compliance with 40 FATF standards and provided necessary information and clarity in this regard.
The APG delegation explained the assessment methodology of FATF, its provisional analysis of Pakistan’s compliance and highlighted the need to provide all relevant materials in support of the compliance position given by Pakistan.
The authorities made out a strong case of technical compliance and highlighted various legislative, administrative and regulatory instruments in support of their position.
The delegation acknowledged Pakistan’s position and advised the authorities to share final reports on technical compliance and effectiveness of implementation with APG by the end of August 2018. They further explained the schedule of activities in connection with the mutual evaluation process.
The APG delegation appreciated the coordination and facilitation extended by the government of Pakistan and all the authorities that remained available during the pre on-site visit to explain Pakistan’s technical compliance with FATF standards. The delegation appreciated the clarifications provided by the Pakistani authorities, which helps delegation in better understanding Pakistan’s AML/CFT regime. The delegation hoped that all the preparatory work would be completed before the final on-site meeting in October, 2018.
It may be added that the caretaker Finance Minister has advised officials of Ministry of Finance to strengthen the capacities of FMU and also requested all members of NEC in its 2nd August meeting to step up their capacities and ensure timely response to FMU on the specific components of Policy Action Plan.