Pakistan hopeful of getting off grey list of FATF

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BERLIN: Pakistan is hopeful of getting off the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as a government official has said that this time "things seem to be going Pakistan's way".

A four-day plenary session of the FATF is scheduled to end today after which the global anti-money laundering watchdog will announce its decision about which countries will remain in the list and which have been removed.

“So far there are reports that this time the decision will go in Pakistan's favour,” the spokesman for the federal government told BBC Urdu, adding that the consent and satisfaction of other countries in the plenary is also significant in this regard.

The official said that even if Pakistan is removed from the list, it may take seven to eight months for matters to be settled. “After removal from the grey list, the FATF team will visit Pakistan for onsite inspection.”

The Pakistani delegation, attending the conference in Berlin, is headed by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, who is also the chair of the National Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Coordination Committee.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the meeting, Pakistan’s progress under the 2018 and 2021 FATF Action Plans will be discussed. The Plenary will review the recommendations of FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG).

The minister held meetings with the incoming and outgoing FATF Presidents, Executive Secretary of the FATF, and heads of delegations of FATF member states to apprise them of the tremendous progress made by Pakistan for completing both FATF Action Plans.

It is pertinent to note that Pakistan was added to the list in 2018 and was given a list of actions to be completed. In a review held in March 2022, the FATF retained the country on the list, saying Pakistan has "made significant progress in fulfilling its recommendations."

Pakistan has so far completed 26 of the 27 recommendations made by the FATF in 2018, and six of the seven points given by the Asia Pacific Group (APG) in 2021, ahead of time.

The two remaining recommendations include the introduction of legal action against terrorist organizations and strict measures against money laundering.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has launched a massive diplomatic effort to get off the FATF grey list, according to official sources.

Pakistan needs the votes of Turkey, China, and Malaysia to get off the list, and all three countries have assured the Pakistani authorities of full support for the purpose.

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