Pakistan

After over 4 years, Pakistan removed from FATF's 'grey-list'

  • Announcement comes as global money laundering and terrorism financing watchdog concludes its two-day Plenary in Paris
Published October 21, 2022

After a gap of over four years, Pakistan was removed from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) 'increased monitoring list', also known as the 'grey-list', as the global money laundering and terrorism financing watchdog concluded its two-day Plenary in Paris on Friday.

During the press conference, FATF President T. Raja Kumar said Pakistan was coming off the FATF's grey-list.

"After a lot of work by Pakistani authorities, Pakistan has completed a combined 34 items in its action plan. FATF recognises this progress. A FATF team has verified that reforms are in place, and there is high-level commitment and capacity to sustain these reforms," said Kumar.

"Moving forward, Pakistan needs to work with FATF's regional partner to ensure sustainable progress."

To a question from the media, Kumar said there is still work to be done on the part of Pakistan. "All countries are subject to follow-ups, and Pakistan will have to work with the Asia Pacific Group (APG)" to ensure sustainable progress on the action plan, he added.

In its brief statement on Pakistan, the FATF said that it welcomes the country's significant progress in improving its Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

"Pakistan has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed technical deficiencies to meet the commitments of its action plans regarding strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in June 2018 and June 2021, the latter of which was completed in advance of the deadlines, encompassing 34 action items in total.

"Pakistan is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process. Pakistan will continue to work with APG to further improve its AML/CFT system," the FATF statement on Friday added.

Khar in Paris to attend crucial FATF meeting

In its previous meeting in June, the FATF had said it will conduct an on-site visit of Pakistan at the earliest possible date, as it acknowledged the "significant progress" the country made in strengthening its AML/CFT regime.

Last month, Pakistan’s foreign office also said a FATF technical team had conducted a “successful” visit and Islamabad was expecting a “logical conclusion” of the evaluation process in October.

FATF team concludes on-site visit; final decision on grey list likely in Oct

Background and timeline

This was the first FATF plenary to be held under the two-year Singapore Presidency of T. Raja Kumar.

Delegates representing 206 members of the Global Network and observer organisations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, INTERPOL, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units participated in the Working Group and plenary meetings in Paris.

Pakistan was added to the grey-list in 2018 and then given an action plan to address strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies by passing legislation and restructuring coordination between law enforcement and financial institutions.

The FATF last said Pakistan has completed all items in its action plan barring one: to demonstrate investigations and prosecutions against senior leaders of UN-designated militant groups.

Amid high hope, Pakistan looks to get off FATF’s ‘grey list’

Subsequently, a technical team of FATF, comprising counterterrorism experts, concluded its on-site visit of Pakistan last month, which was expected to lead to Pakistan’s exit from its grey list.

The 15-member delegation visited Pakistan from August 29 to September 5, 2022 and held meetings with the country’s leadership, besides getting briefings from relevant authorities on Pakistan’s implemented reforms, particularly the critical measures undertaken with regard to AML/CFT.

Timeline

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Hussain Naqvi Oct 22, 2022 01:23am
پاكستان زنده باد Pakistan Zindabad
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