Pakistan to exit FATF grey list this year: Tarin

The finance minister said FATF has no merit to retain the country’s status as it has made significant progress to meet its tough conditions



The FATF encourages Pakistan to continue to make progress to address the one remaining item as soon as possible. — Twitter
The FATF encourages Pakistan to continue to make progress to address the one remaining item as soon as possible. — Twitter
by

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sat 5 Mar 2022, 7:24 PM

Last updated: Sat 5 Mar 2022, 9:25 PM

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said the country will exit grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) this year as it has already achieved almost all targets set by the task force.

While commenting over the Paris-based global watchdog for money laundering and terrorist financing’s decision to keep Pakistan in the grey list, the finance minister said the FATF has no merit to retain the country’s status as it has made significant progress to meet its tough conditions.

“We have completed 26 conditions out of 27 of the action plan. The FATF decision is politically motivated and it was taken under the influence of some powerful nations to pressurise Pakistan over its strategic policy decisions,” Tarin, who is in Dubai, told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

On Friday, the FATF announced that it is retaining Pakistan on the grey list while noting that “significant progress” has been made in completing the required action items for removal from the list.

In a statement, the FATF said that Pakistan has completed 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan. It encourages Pakistan to continue to make progress to address the one remaining item as soon as possible. It further added since June 2021, Pakistan has taken swift steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime and completed six of the seven action items ahead of any relevant deadlines expiring.

“Pakistan should continue to work to address the one remaining item in its 2021 action plan by demonstrating a positive and sustained trend of pursuing complex money laundering investigations and prosecutions,” the statement said.

Samiullah Tariq, head of research at Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company, said Pakistan is already in the grey list since 2018, so there is no major impact expected on business and markets in near term.

“In my view Pakistan’s performance has been impressive while complying with FATF parameters and it is also acknowledged by the FATF. Pakistan should have been excluded from the grey list amid considering its significant progress on improving its financial system and check terror financing,” Tariq told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

In a statement, Islamabad-based Finance Division said Pakistan presented its case in an effective manner and also reaffirmed its political commitment to continue with the efforts to complete the action plans.

“The FATF reviewed Pakistan’s progress on both action plans in its plenary meeting. The FATF members, while participating in the discussion on Pakistan’s progress, recognised Pakistan’s continuing commitment towards sustainable, robust AML/CFT frameworks,” the statement said.

“The country is making endeavours to complete the last two remaining items of both the action plans, as early as possible,” the statement said.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. It has 39 members including two regional organisations — the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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