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Pakistan submits answers to FATF’s 125 queries

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Bangkok, Sep 9  Pakistan on Monday submitted detailed answers to 125 questions posed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on moves taken by it to strengthen anti-money laundering and combat financing of terrorism, as Islamabad seeks to move out of the FATF Greylist.

The report was submitted by Pakistan’s Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar who is heading the 15-member delegation to Bangkok for the FATF negotiations, which will continue till September 13.

The Asia Pacific Joint Group of the FATF began its four-day meeting on Monday in Bangkok to review the compliance report of Pakistan, besides other countries.

Pakistan has been under the FATF radar for its complicity with terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) among others. In addition, terrorists like Hafiz Saeed are regularly seen ranting anti-India rhetoric and collecting “donations”.

On August 22, the Asia-Pacific Group (APG), a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force, had placed Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) for its failure to meet standards.

Pakistan’s report would be discussed by the Asia Pacific Joint Group on Tuesday.

Other members of the Pakistani team include officials of the State Bank of Pakistan, Ministries of Finance and Interior, Federal Investigation Agency, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue, National Counter Terrorism Authority and the Financial Monitoring Unit.

The outcome of the negotiations with the global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering, will decide whether Pakistan continues to feature in the Greylist or is put on the Blacklist, during the FATF meeting in Paris on October 16-18.

During the Bangkok negotiations, the FATF will be apprised of measures taken by Pakistan to prevent suspicious transactions and Pakistani officials will be cross-questioned about moves to restrict illegal activities and freeze the assets of proscribed organisations and groups.

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