Lahore - The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has expressed satisfaction on the measures taken by Pakistan and its progress in various areas.

A Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar told the FATF meeting in Paris that Pakistan has made positive progress in 20 out of 27 points, reported Radio Pakistan.

In the first review meeting on Monday, China, Turkey and Malaysia appreciated the steps taken by Pakistan on compliance with FATF guidelines on curbing money laundering and terrorism financing.

The implementation of FATF action plan by Islamabad will be reviewed for another two days after which the global anti-money laundering body will decide whether to maintain or remove Islamabad out of the grey list.

The weeklong FATF meetings, dubbed as the FATF Week, started on Sunday and will continue until Oct 16 and review the progress made by different countries on compliance with FATF guidelines.

Representatives from 205 countries and jurisdictions around the world, the IMF, UN, World Bank and other organizations are attending.

The six days of meetings will focus on disrupting financial flows linked to crime and terrorism and discuss ways to contribute to global safety and security. Pakistan and Iran are on top of the agenda in the meeting.

In the meeting chaired by China on Monday, FATF reviewed the progress made by Pakistan on the action plan given on April 29 this year, and the positive outcome of the meeting has strengthened hopes the body will not put the country on its black list.

The country was placed on grey list last year after FATF decided that Islamabad had failed to take enough measures to curb money laundering and terror financing, and now India was lobbying to place it on FATF black list.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said that India was using all means to place Pakistan on FATF blacklist.

“India is still in constant contact with some countries and with their help, it is trying to put Pakistan on the FATF blacklist,” said the foreign minister while speaking to media in Islamabad.

The government officials said on Monday that it was highly unlikely that Pakistan would be included in the black list. They expressed confidence that India’s efforts in this regard will fail.

The finance ministry team reportedly told the meeting that out of 36 FATF recommendations, Pakistan had fully implemented 9 recommendations while 27 recommendations had been partially implemented.

The team observed that terror financing had been stopped, while bank accounts of all proscribed organisations were frozen and their assets confiscated.

Pakistan’s status will be decided after a thorough review on October 16 and 17.

Sources said that Pakistan required to work on four targets of FATF and has been asked to improve its prosecution on them.

Pakistan also requires maintaining a better coordination between the provinces and federation on money laundering.

Earlier, the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering released its mutual evaluation report on Oct 2, which discussed measures that were in place in Pakistan during the onsite visit conducted in October 2018.

The APG is a regional body of the FATF, which requires its members to undergo mutual evaluation of the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism frameworks.

“According to the APG report, out of the 40 recommendations given to Pakistan, the country has shown compliance in one (area), Financial Institutions Secrecy Law, and has shown noncompliance in four areas,” stated brokerage firm Topline Securities in its report.

“However, Pakistan is partially compliant on 26 and largely compliant on nine recommendations,” it added. It mentioned that Pakistan has shown decent progress since October 2018.

The National Assembly recently passed a bill to amend Foreign Exchange Regulations (FERA 1947) with a view to streamline the foreign exchange movement and prescribe stricter punishment for money laundering. The government has also launched a crackdown on banned terrorist outfits.