- Pakistan to be on "Grey List" of countries under increased monitoring of Financial Action Task Force
- Pakistan may be removed from the list after an on-site visit
- Pakistan has been on the grey list of the Paris-based FATF since June 2018
Pakistan on Saturday said it was working closely with the FATF to schedule an early on-site visit by its experts to verify the progress made by the country in countering financing of terrorism and money-laundering activities before removing Islamabad from the grey list.
Pakistan will continue to be on the "Grey List" of countries under increased monitoring of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a statement from the Paris-based global money-laundering and terror-financing watchdog said on Friday.
It said Pakistan may be removed from the list after an on-site visit to verify the implementation of its reforms on countering terror-financing mechanisms. "Pakistan is not being removed from the Grey List today. It will be removed if the on-site visit finds that its actions are sustainable," outgoing FATF president Marcus Pleyer said.
He said a formal announcement on Pakistan's removal would follow an on-site inspection, which would be conducted before October. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, who led the Pakistani delegation to the FATF plenary in Berlin, said that the government was working closely with the global watchdog to schedule the visit at mutually convenient dates so the process could be concluded prior to the FATF's plenary session in October.
Pakistan has been on the grey list of the Paris-based FATF since June 2018 for failing to check money laundering, leading to terror financing, and was given a plan of action to complete the task by October 2019.
The on-site visit marks the beginning of the end [of the] process that will eventually culminate in Pakistan's exit from the grey list, hopefully forever," Khar said.
Regarding the dates of the on-site evaluation, the minister said the authorities concerned are closely working with the FATF to arrange their team’s visit at “mutually convenient dates” with a view to conclude the process before the October plenary.
"The 2018 action plan has been closed and no pendency of action remains on Pakistan's part," Khar said. She said that Pakistan had submitted three progress reports to the FATF on the action plan of 2021, which was related to money laundering.
"I am pleased to announce that Pakistan has completed the entire seven-point action plan a year ahead of the given timelines," the minister asserted. With Pakistan's continuation on the grey list, it had increasingly become difficult for Islamabad to get financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the country.
Pakistan has so far avoided being on the black list with the help of close allies like China, Turkey and Malaysia. 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.
The FATF currently has 39 members including two regional organisations -- the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council. India is a member of the FATF consultations and its Asia Pacific Group.