PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakistan’s central bank has declined a request from the federal government for opening the Afghanistan Relief Fund, says a media report.
Following last month’s extraordinary session of the OIC on Afghanistan, Islamabad decided to open the account to receive cash donations from Pakistan and abroad to help the Afghans.
But the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) advised the government to rethink its decision, warning the opening of the account could trigger Financial Action Task Force (FATF) sanctions.
The top bank asked the Imran Khan administration to keep in view its commitments under international covenants and the FATF action plan, The Express Tribune reported.
Citing well-placed sources, the newspaper the SBP governor had been urged to issue necessary instructions to scheduled banks to open the account. But the proposed account is yet to be made operational.
Finance Secretary Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh confirmed the issue of opening the relief fund was being evaluated to ensure that Pakistan complied with its international commitments.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has asked the Economic Affairs Ministry, the Law Ministry and the Foreign Office to review the issue and place it before the federal cabinet.
Since June 2018, Pakistan has been on the FATF grey list. At its plenary meeting in October last year, the task force decided to keep Islamabad on its grey list.