Issue Brief on “FATF’s Verdict on Pakistan: Signs of Cautious Optimism and Persistent Action”


On 23 October, 2020 the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released its verdict on the current status of Pakistan. Acknowledging Pakistan’s progress across all the items of action plan, the verdict states that Pakistan “has now largely addressed 21 of the 27 action items”.[1] This itself speaks volumes of Pakistan’s commitment in curbing terror financing and money laundering.

Pakistan was placed under the increased monitory jurisdiction of FATF in June 2018.[2] The countries placed under increased jurisdiction aim to resolve their strategic deficiencies in money laundering, terror financing, and proliferation financing in a set period of time. During these timeframes, the jurisdictions are subjected to strict monitoring and evaluation. This list is often referred to as the “grey list”.[3] Established in 1989, FATF is an inter-governmental organization comprising 39 member states, the European Commission and the Gulf Cooperation Council.[4]As a money laundering and terror financing watchdog, FATF sets international standards aiming at curbing illegal activities and financial harms to the society. It is pertinent to note that Pakistan is not a member state of FATF, instead, it is a FATF Associate Member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).

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