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Pak minister says country made improvement in curbing money laundering


Islamabad: Pakistan has made a reasonable improvement to curb terror financing and money laundering and it is in a better position to present its case in front of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a senior minister claimed as he ruled out the possibility of the country being blacklisted by the terror financing watchdog.

In June last year, the Paris-based FATF had placed Pakistan on the "grey list" of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle money-laundering and terror financing.

The FATF has told Pakistan to reassess the operation of terrorist groups in the country, already under intense international pressure to rein in terror groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) after the Pulwama terror attack. Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said Thursday said that the ongoing crackdown against outlawed organisations had not been initiated under any external pressure.

He said the government was committed to transforming Pakistan so that nobody could point a finger at it.

The government has taken over all religious seminaries, ambulances, dispensaries, hospitals and other assets linked to the proscribed organisations. The government has also released funds to run these assets, he added.

Referring to a report to be submitted by Pakistan to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) next week, he ruled out the possibility of Pakistan's placement on FATF's black list.

The minister said in its last report submitted to the FATF, the federal government had pleaded its case in such a professional manner that all member states except India had lauded Pakistan's efforts, noting a reasonable improvement.

Afridi said in the past, whenever the FATF delegation arrived in the country, Pakistan's case was weak because all state institutions were sending different vibes. However, this is not the case now, he added.

The minister said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other agencies had taken exemplary measures to curb human trafficking and money laundering.

"We are erecting fences along borders with our neighbouring countries. Our message to the world is that Pakistan won't allow its soil to be used against any country. Both prime minister and army chief are monitoring these operations," he said.

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