Do not celebrate in half success

Islamabad, Pakistan: Pakistan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar on Saturday cautioned against the pre-mature celebration of Pakistan’s victory on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) action plans.

“Let’s not be overly celebratory right now,” Khar said while addressing a press conference after her return from Germany, a local media reported.

Khar led a Pakistani delegation at the FATF plenary meeting held in Berlin which decided to send its team to Pakistan in order to verify actions and steps taken by the country to implement its action plan, The Express Tribune reported.

Talking about the on-site visit, Khar said that the visit is seen as a step in the right direction that may eventually lead Pakistan to exit the grey list.

“The successful completion of the FATF Action Plans and its formal endorsement by the FATF means that Pakistan is one step away from exiting the grey list. The on-site visit is a procedural requirement. It marks the beginning of the end-process that will eventually culminate in the exit of Pakistan from FATF’s grey list.”

She called the discussions held in the plenary fruitful and said that by consensus the FATF decided that Pakistan had addressed all technical benchmarks and had completed all requirements of both Action Plans, The Express Tribune reported.

“I am very pleased to announce that Pakistan has completed the entire seven-point Action Plan a year ahead of the prescribed timelines.

Regarding the timing of the on-site visit, Khar said, “We are working closely with the FATF to arrange the on-site visit at mutually convenient dates with a view to conclude the entire process at the earliest and before the next FATF Plenary in October 2022,” The Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan has been on the Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog’s grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018. This greylisting has adversely impacted its imports, exports, remittances, and limited access to international lending.

In June 2021, the country was given three months to fulfil the remaining conditions by October.
However, Pakistan was retained on the FATF ‘grey list’ for failing to effectively implement the global FATF standards and over its lack of progress on the investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups.

Back in March, FATF had called Pakistan to work on “complex money laundering investigations and prosecutions.”

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