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FATF meeting: China says Pakistan made 'visible progress' to curb terror financing

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Asia Pacific Joint Group met in Beijing this week to scrutinise Pakistan's progress report to adopt stricter laws against terror financing and money laundering. China is the President of the FATF and co-chair for Asia Pacific Joint Group.

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Last Updated: Jan 23, 2020, 05.37 PM IST
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China's President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People on April 28, 2019 in Beijing, China.
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BEIJING: China, which hosted a key meeting of the international terror financing watchdog in Beijing, said on Thursday that Pakistan has made "visible progress" to strengthen its counter terrorism financing system, which should be encouraged by the world community.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Asia Pacific Joint Group met in Beijing this week to scrutinise Pakistan's progress report to adopt stricter laws against terror financing and money laundering. China is the President of the FATF and co-chair for Asia Pacific Joint Group.

A Pakistani delegation led by Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hammad Azhar is in Beijing to brief the financial task force about the steps taken by Islamabad to implement the recommendations made by the FATF.

Asked how China viewed Pakistan's progress, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media in Beijing that he has no information on the proceedings which is still going on but praised Islamabad's efforts.

"Pakistan has made great efforts to strengthen its domestic counter terrorism financing system with visible progress. Its political will and active efforts should be recognised and encouraged by the international community," he said.

"We hope the FATF will continue to offer constructive support and assistance to Pakistan in its continued efforts to improve the counter terrorism financing system and effectively fighting the terrorist financing," he said.

"As FATF president and co-chair for Asia Pacific Joint Group, China will continue to uphold an objective, just and constructive attitude and participate in relevant discussions," he said.

The FATF in October last decided to keep Pakistan on its 'Grey' list for failure to curb funnelling of funds to terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others.

If not removed off the list by April, Pakistan may move to a blacklist of countries that face severe economic sanctions, such as Iran.

Pakistan has submitted a 650-page review report to the FATF on January 8. The report was submitted in response to 150 questions raised by the FATF regarding new Pakistani policies on money laundering. The report outlined the steps taken by Pakistan between October 2019 to January 2020 to implement the group's recommendations.

The FATF meeting scrutinises whether Pakistan has complied with an earlier agenda presented to it.

"I want to stress that the FATF is an important international cooperation platform and to fight money laundering and terrorist financing its aim and goal is to help countries better fight money laundering and terrorist financing and prevent the international financial system from being abused," Geng said.

The FATF is backed by the UN Security Council passed resolutions which made its recommendations binding and in case of deficiencies, sanctions could be imposed.

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