Pakistan

FM Bilawal reiterates Pakistan’s commitment to align economy with global standards

  • Says good news from FATF will act as a catalyst for sustained growth and development
Published June 19, 2022

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday reiterated Pakistan's "high-level" commitment to align the country's anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terror financing (CFT) regime with global standards, days after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) acknowledged that Islamabad had made "significant progress" and announced to conduct an on-site visit of Pakistan at the earliest possible date.

According to the FATF, an on-site visit is conducted to confirm that the implementation of the necessary legal, regulatory, and/or operational reforms is underway and there is the necessary political commitment and institutional capacity to sustain implementation.

FATF to conduct on-site visit in Pakistan at 'earliest possible date' after 'significant progress'

"The government of Pakistan is committed to continuing this positive trajectory of reforming the financial sector as part of its larger strategic objective of strengthening Pakistan’s economy," the foreign minister was quoted as saying by the Foreign Office on Sunday.

"I am certain that this good news from FATF will restore confidence in Pakistan’s economy and act as a catalyst for sustained growth and development."

He said that the country was looking forward to the "on-site visit and a successful and early culmination of the process leading to Pakistan’s exit from the grey list."

How to be removed from FATF's increased monitoring list

In order to be removed from FATF monitoring, a jurisdiction must address all or nearly all the components of its action plan.

All announcements will be made at the press conference: FATF

Once the FATF has determined that the jurisdiction has done so, it will organise an on-site visit to confirm that the implementation of the necessary legal, regulatory, and/or operational reforms is underway and there is the necessary political commitment and institutional capacity to sustain implementation.

If the on-site visit has a positive outcome, the FATF will decide on removing the jurisdiction from public identification at the next FATF plenary. The concerned jurisdiction will then continue to work within the FATF or the relevant FATF-style regional bodies (FSRB), through its normal follow-up process, to improve its Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

Pakistan's situation

At its last plenary in March, the FATF had announced that Pakistan would continue to stay on the grey-list.

It had noted at the time that "since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and Asia/Pacific Group (APG) to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan’s continued political commitment has led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT action plan

"Pakistan has completed 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan. The FATF encourages Pakistan to continue to make progress to address, as soon as possible, the one remaining item by continuing to demonstrate that terror financing investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups."

Pakistan has placed on FATF's grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes in June 2018.

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