Pakistan is likely to be removed from the FATF gray list during the global anti-money laundering watchdog’s October plenary report.

Pakistan was included in the extended watch list in
Image source: PTI Pakistan was placed on the extended watch list in June 2018.

Pakistan can get off the FATF gray list: According to a news report on Monday, Pakistan is likely to come off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gray list this week after being placed in the infamous category in 2018 for failing to control money laundering and terrorist financing.

Pakistan was placed on the expanded monitoring list in June 2018 for deficiencies in its legal, financial, regulatory, investigative, prosecutorial, judicial, and non-government sectors to combat money laundering and counter-terrorist financing deemed a serious threat to the global financial system, Dawn reported.

The Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog said the “first FATF Plenary under the two-year Singaporean presidency of T. Raja Kumar will take place from October 20–21.”

Pakistan has promised at a high political level to fix these problems in a 27-point plan of action. But later, the number of action points was increased to 34. Since then, the country has been working hard with the FATF and its partners to strengthen its legal and financial systems to prevent money laundering and the funding of terrorism. This is in line with the 40 FATF recommendations.

With Pakistan still on the gray list, it was getting harder for Islamabad to get money from the IMF, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the European Union. This made the country’s liquidity problems even worse.

From August 29 to September 2, a group of 15 FATF members and the Asia Pacific Group, which is based in Sydney, Australia, went to Pakistan to check if the country was following the 34-point action plan. points committed to the FATF.

Authorities here kept the delegation’s nationwide visit low-key, later calling it “a calm and successful visit.” According to the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the focus of the visit was to validate on the ground Pakistan’s high-level commitment and sustainability of reforms in the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. Y [it] he looked forward to the logical conclusion of the evaluation process.

The FATF International Cooperation Review Group and plenary meetings will talk about the report of the FATF on-site team. At the Working Group and plenary meetings, delegates from 206 Global Network members and observer organizations will take part. These include the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Bank, Interpol, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. in Paris.

At the end of the two-day deliberations, the decisions of the plenary will be announced. In June of this year, the FATF determined that Pakistan is “in compliance or largely in compliance” with the 34 points and decided to send an on-site mission to verify it on the ground before formally announcing the country’s exit from the gray list that it finally had. place in August and September.

According to the Dawn newspaper report, the government has committed to the IMF to review by the end of June 2022 the implementation of AML/CFT controls by financial institutions with respect to the tax amnesty program for the construction sector and promised to meet deadlines. for the implementation of the 2021 Action Plan of the APG.

Pakistan has so far avoided being on the FATF blacklist with the help of close allies such as China, Turkey, and Malaysia.

The FATF is an intergovernmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

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