Pakistan has been declared compliance on all 34 points of two action plans by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), paving the way for its elimination from the grey list following an on-site inspection by a force team.
Though the monitoring process will keep going in the coming months, Pakistani authorities stated that the decision to declare Pakistan compliant on all 34 points was made unanimously.
When action was taken against the leadership of proscribed outfits, the FATF cleared the country in its plenary meeting on the last two points, including terrorism financing and money laundering.
Islamabad has been reported compliant on all 34 items after four years of frantic work and the implementation of two action plans at the same time.
The FATF will now send an onsite inspection team to Pakistan, most likely within the next two months.
Following verification and confirmation through an on-site visit, the FATF’s next plenary, scheduled for October 2022, will confirm Pakistan’s removal from the grey list.
During a press conference following the plenary meeting, FATF President Dr. Marcus Pleyer stated that Pakistani authorities had done a lot of work. “I’m glad to say that they [Pakistan] have now largely addressed all 34 action items from their combined two action plans. Pakistan is not being removed from the grey list today. The country will be removed from the list if it successfully passes the onsite visit,” said Dr. Pleyer.
When contacted, Lubna Malik, Director General (DG) Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU), stated that the country made progress on all fronts, including the prosecution and convictions of those involved in terrorism financing and money laundering.
She also stated that the country made significant progress in taking serious actions against the leaders of banned organizations to illustrate its seriousness, which helped persuade the FATF to declare the country compliant.
She stated that the FATF did not provide a time frame for an onsite inspection visit, but Pakistan wanted to persuade the FATF to send its team as soon as possible.
According to official sources, the onsite inspection schedule was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in many countries’ scheduled visits being canceled in 2020 and 2021.
Now that the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, it is expected that the FATF onsite inspection team, comprised of member countries, will soon visit Pakistan, most likely in July or August, so that Pakistan can receive a confirmation to be removed from the grey list in October 2022, on the occasion of the FATF’s upcoming plenary meeting.
Soon after the announcement, Pakistan’s delegation at the plenary session in Berlin, led by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, congratulated the country after the regulatory body declared both action plans complete.
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