Action against money launderers: Military and ISI representatives made GC’s members

Aftab Ahmed

Islamabad: The government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has appointed representatives of military and ISI as members of General Committee to execute action plan agreed with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to take action against those involved in money laundering.

Pakistan is currently under pressure of FATF to take action against money launderers. The money launderers are also believed to be involved in parking money of terrorists.

According to the final Mutual Evaluation Report of the Asia Pacific Group released in first week of October this year, Pakistan was still facing high risks of money laundering and terror financing. APG had said that Pakistan needs to improve the understanding of these risks that were also emanating from various terrorist groups operating in the country.

In its National Risk Assessment report, Pakistan ruled out that money laundering and terrorism financing were high-risk category areas. However, the Mutual Evaluation Report of 2019 had not agreed with Pakistan’s assessment that it faces “medium” category risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.

According to Finance Division, Pakistan is currently undertaking a challenging action plan agreed with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June 2018 to bring its regime of Anti Money Laundering and Countering financing of Terrorism in line with FATF standards. Greater participation of all the stakeholders was required to ensure that commitment through the Action Plan is fulfilled.

The primary law which governs Anti Money Laundering and Countering financing of Terrorism regime in the country is anti-money laundering act 2010.The act provides for constitution of a National Executive Committee (NEC) and General Committee (GC) to take policy and operational decision with respect to Anti Money Laundering and Countering financing of Terrorism.

In order to review the proposal of establishing FATF secretariat, sources told that a meeting was held chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on October 3, 2019.They said that during a meeting, it was decided that Minister for Economic Affairs Division should be notified as member of National Executive Committee (NEC) and director general military operations and director General (C) be notified as members of General Committee (GC) under AML Act, 2010.This act provides the federal government to nominate any other member in these committees. The government has approved this proposal now to tighten nose around money launderers to implement action plan agreed with FATF.

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