Thursday, March 30, 2023

Pakistan remains on the FATF’s grey list despite ‘100% compliance’

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Thursday maintained Pakistan’s inclusion on its grey list, despite the fact that the country complied with “all 27 points” set by the global anti-money laundering agency.

“Pakistan continues to be subject to heightened scrutiny. In his post-meeting press conference, FATF President Dr. Marcus Pleyer stated, “The Pakistani government has two concurrent action plans, each of which has a total of 34 action items.”

Among the 34 issues on the FATF action plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, he said that Pakistan has “addressed or substantially handled” 30 of them.

The president of the FATF stated that a fresh action plan was issued to Pakistan earlier this year in June after the Asia Pacific Group (AGP) highlighted a number of major issues in the country.

“Overall, Pakistan is making good progress on this new action plan; four of the seven action items have been handled or are in the process of being addressed,” he continued.

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According to Dr. Marcus, when it comes to the 2018 action plan, which focuses on the issue of terror financing, Pakistan has taken a number of important steps, but it needs to demonstrate that investigations and prosecutions have been pursued against the senior leadership of UN-designated terrorist organizations.

“I would want to express my gratitude to the Pakistani government for their unwavering dedication to this process.”

A virtual meeting of the FATF Plenary, attended by delegates representing 205 members of the Global Network as well as observer organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, came to a decision following the virtual meeting.

With effect from June 2018, Pakistan was placed on the FATF’s grey list, and the country was required to follow a 27-point action plan in order to be removed from the list.

In June of this year, the FATF decided to maintain Pakistan on its grey list despite the fact that the government had met 26 of the 27 criteria and had handed up a fresh six-point action plan, putting Islamabad at risk of being subjected to international pressure tactics.

While noting that Pakistan had completed all but one of the 27 elements in the action plan, the FATF said the country had been placed under “enhanced supervision.”

As a result, sources in the finance ministry claimed on Wednesday that Pakistan had completed the implementation of all 27 items recommended by the FATF and that there was no longer any basis for the international watchdog to continue listing Pakistan as a grey market economy.

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