ISLAMABAD     -   Pakistan on Friday rejected India’s claim that Islamabad was being blacklisted by the Asia Pacific Group (APG) for not fulfilling the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recommendations.

The Ministry of Finance has stated that APG, in its 22nd annual meeting, held in Canberra, Australia from August 18-23 2019, has adopted Pakistan’s 3rd Mutual Evaluation Report.

In a brief statement, the ministry has said the APG has put Pakistan in its enhanced follow-up as per its Third Round Mutual Evaluation Procedures.

In line with APG’s Third Round Mutual Evaluation Procedures, Pakistan would be required to submit follow-up progress reports to the APG on quarterly basis, the statement said.

“Reports circulating on media about Pakistan being blacklisted by APG are incorrect and baseless,” Ministry of Finance stated emphatically.

According to the report, Pakistan has six months to show progress as the first enhanced monitoring report will be submitted to the APG in February next year. APG findings will be presented in the FATF Plenary. Pakistan’s “enhanced monitoring”, on the other hand, begins immediately. Out of 40 universal recommendations of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan’s rating was non-compliant on 30 and performance was also below par on 10 as against 11 immediate outcomes, the report added.

According to the official handout, released by the AGP, the APG members adopted six significant mutual evaluation reports during the week. The reports for China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, China, Pakistan, the Philippines and Solomon Islands - were analysed and discussed in detail over two full days and will now be subject to post-plenary quality and consistency review prior to publication. Final publication on the APG website is expected in early October 2019. 

The APG also adopted a number of follow-up reports for APG members and for joint APG/FATF members and also agreed on revised evaluation procedures for the coming year, reflecting recent changes to global procedures. APG members adopted a CFT Operational Plan as part of a global strategy to address the concerns related to terrorist financing.

As part of this plan, the plenary agreed to start implementation project to examine the financing and facilitation of foreign fighters and returnees.

Also discussed and adopted were the following important typologies reports: APG/EAG report on Terrorism Financing & Proceeds of Crime (including Organised Crime).

The report identifies techniques and trends associated with the use of proceeds from crime, including from organised crime, for financing terrorism. The report is expected to be published in November 2019.

The 2019 APG Yearly Typologies Report includes approximately 135 cases received from 19 member jurisdictions and APG observers.

Members agreed on a new joint project with the Alliance for Financial Stability with Information Technology – to develop a workshop to be held in early 2020 on the application of FATF Guidance on Digital KYC to the Asia Pacific region following its adoption/publication by the FATF in February 2020.

The APG’s Annual Forum on Technical Assistance and Training held in tandem with the annual meeting included 30 meetings over five days, comprised of 26 individual sessions between members and donors of AML/CFT technical assistance. Three sub-regional meetings were also convened. These discussions led to important information-sharing and coordination mechanisms among the APG’s members, observers, donors and providers.