The global money laundering and terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained Pakistan on its grey list despite implementing all targets.
During a media briefing after the meeting of the Financial Action Task Force in Berlin, FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer said that Pakistan has achieved the given targets. All the conditions to get out of the gray list have been fulfilled.
The FATF will conduct an on-site visit to Pakistan at the earliest possible date, announced the body’s president Dr Pleyer, as it acknowledged the “significant progress” the country has made in strengthening its Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
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 four-day FATF meeting was held in Berlin from June 16-19, with 206 members and delegates representing observers attended the plenary session. Observers included the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units.
A Pakistani delegation, led by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar is currently in Germany, attending a crucial session of FATF. The delegation includes officials from foreign and finance ministries and other senior officials concerned.
Earlier today, #FATF became the top trend on Twitter when some senior journalists and politicians claimed that Pakistan has come out of the grey list.
But, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar rebutted the news on Twitter and said, “The FATF plenary meetings are continuing in Berlin and the body will issue a public statement after the conclusion of the meetings tonight. Prejudging the outcomes or speculative reporting could and should be avoided.”
The Pakistani authorities said that the global body will next month send a mission to Pakistan to determine the veracity of the government’s claim that it has fully implemented all the 34 conditions that the FATF had set in February 2018 and then in June 2021.
Pakistan had been asked to implement these conditions in 15 months but it took around four years due to the complexity of these issues.
The FATF’s decision will now require commitments from all the Pakistani stakeholders to prove to the FATF’s upcoming mission that no serious deficiency remains in its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Terror Financing (CFT) regimes.
In February 2018, the FATF had decided to place Pakistan on the grey list with effect from June 2018 and handed it over a list of 27 conditions that it needed to implement to exit the grey list.