Pakistan’s Removal: FATF

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Finally Pakistan got the assurance of an on-site visit from the FATF. This on-site visit is to verify that “implementation and sustainability of the country’s money-laundering and counterterrorism financing measures” before it is formally removed from the task force’s increased monitoring (grey) list which is commonly known as the “Grey List” is the best outcome we could have hoped. It means once the on-site inspection is conducted that Pakistan should be removed from the grey list in the month of October.

In Berlin plenary, the global money-laundering and terrorist-financing watchdog has made its initial determination that Pakistan has substantially completed two action plans, complying with all 34 items, noting that this showed that the “necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain implementation and improvement in the future”. Officials who are observing this closely said: “Pakistan demonstrated that terror-financing investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups and that there is a positive upwards trend in the number of money-laundering investigations and prosecutions being pursued in Pakistan.”

Particularly this assessment of the efforts made by Pakistan to exit from the FATF grey list is primarily focused on work done by the previous government. Pakistan’s government and security officials simultaneously worked to complete the challenging action plan given to them for compliance to avoid being blacklisted. Pakistan has been on the grey list thrice since 2008. Being downgraded to that list again would do irreparable damage to the economy and international trade. It is, therefore, hoped that the nation’s civilian and military leadership will continue to show the highest level of political commitment to address the leftover deficiencies in the country’s AML/CFT regime, and carry on the good work to update and strengthen the relevant laws, regulations, and procedures in the months and years to come.

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