The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review, a formidable prospect that had been looming over the country for a few months, is finally here. The FATF Asia-Pacific team reached Pakistan on Sunday night to review measures taken by the country to curtail money laundering and terror financing. According to sources, the team will meet officials of the ministries of finance and interior, the financial monitoring unit and the State Bank during its visit.

How has Pakistan fared so far in its prevention of terror financing? According to sources, the government is adhering to suggestions proposed by the financial watchdog by approving amendments in the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Regulations 2018. Moreover, the government alleges that it has implemented several recommendations by FATF to determine money trail of various controversial organisations. An alleged terrorist organisation, Al-Rahman Trust, has also been banned by the government.

Furthermore, the government reports that it upgraded its border posts systems in July and facilitated better coordination among its agencies to address FATF concerns of smuggling of currency by terrorist groups operating along the border with Afghanistan.

However Pakistan’s terror financing situation still leaves much to be desired. Hafiz Saeed, a figure extremely controversial in the international sphere, has been released from prison, exercises considerable influence in elections and his groups have been allowed to conduct political activities. While it is understandable that the government may want to keep its steps towards curtailing terror financing private, there has not been an overt operation against this menace. The state had enough time to take proper measures to adhere to FATF standards, and if we fail, we only have ourselves to blame.

Nevertheless, it is possible that Pakistan might just pass this review and escape being placed on the grey list again. We can only hope for the best.