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Finance minister urges APG to be flexible in deadlines

ISLAMABAD(Parliament Times) : The interim finance minister on Friday urged the Asia Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering to be flexible in its deadlines given to Pakistan to address legal and administrative deficiencies in Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) frameworks. “Pakistani authorities should be given full opportunity to provide necessary materials and reports to the APG,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement issued after a meeting between the APG delegation and Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar. The APG delegation came to Pakistan at a time when there is an interim political setup. The next AGP visit is scheduled for October and the new government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will have hardly any time to meet the deadlines set to make new laws.
APG highlights financial system’s vulnerability
The APG delegation did not have a scheduled meeting with finance minister, which was arranged at the last leg of the visit. A team of the APG Secretariat and International Assessors visited Pakistan from Aug 13-17 2018 in connection with mutual evaluation of the country’s AML and CTF regime. The delegation hoped that all the preparatory work would be completed before the final on-site meeting in October. The foreign experts found major deficiencies in the legal and administrative frameworks, which according to them can be exploited by the terrorist organisations. They observed that Pakistan’s financial system is not compliant with the AML and CFT regulations. Moreover, the country needs to legislate to address weaknesses that could hamper progress on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) requests and extradition of criminals involved in money laundering and terrorism financing offences. “The finance minister urged the APG delegation to be flexible and practical in their deadlines and allow full opportunity to the authorities to provide necessary materials and reports to APG,” said the Finance Ministry. It added that Dr Shamshad Akhtar gave a strong sense that the concerned Pakistani authorities would be able to complete their respective tasks as early as possible.

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