Pakistan completed tasks against money laundering/ terror financing, FATF

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Much awaited, good news for Pakistan; Financial Action Task Force (FATF) gave a green signal to exclude Pakistan from its ‘Gray List’. It is said in the FATF declaration that Pakistan has completed its task against money laundering and terror financing, soon FATF team will visit Pakistan and verify the actions done.

FATF said, keeping in view the Covid-19 condition, the team would visit Pakistan as soon as possible to assess the situation. Pakistan has completed reforms to curb money laundering and terror financing.

An official statement, issued by the foreign ministry of Pakistan, said, “The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) reviewed Pakistan’s progress on FATF Action Plans in its Plenary meetings held in Berlin (Germany) on 13-17 June 2022. FATF has acknowledged the completion of Pakistan’s Action Plans (both 2018 and 2021) and has authorized an onsite visit to Pakistan, as a final step to exit it from the FATF ‘Grey List’. The FATF members while participating in the discussion on Pakistan’s progress, congratulated Pakistan for completing both Action Plans covering 34 items, and especially on the early completion of the 2021 Action Plan in a record timeframe. Pakistan continued its relentless efforts toward the successful completion of these Action Plans despite many challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan has covered a lot of ground in the completion of the FATF Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) domain during the implementation of FATF Action Plans. The engagement with FATF has led to the development of a strong AML/CFT framework in Pakistan and resulted in the improvement of our systems to cope with future challenges. The Pakistan delegation, which attended FATF Plenary meetings in Berlin, was led by Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs / Chairperson National FATF Coordination Committee.”

What is FATF Gray List

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a global agency responsible for the monitoring of money laundering and terrorism funding. The intergovernmental organization creates global norms to stop these unlawful actions to damage any society. The FATF seeks to create the required political will to bring about these types of national legislative and regulatory reforms in its capacity as a policy-making organization.

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According to the official website of FATF “Jurisdictions under increased monitoring are actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. When the FATF places a jurisdiction under increased monitoring, it means the country has committed to resolving the identified strategic deficiencies within agreed timeframes and is subject to increased monitoring. This list is often externally referred to as the ‘Grey List’”.

In a short conversation with EAT News, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar said, “delegation from Pakistan attended the FATF session from 13 to 17 June in Berlin. Technical evaluation of plans and actions for 2018 and 2021 was done there during the session. I am happy to share that FATF unanimously cleared the plans and actions and said Pakistan’s performance is up to the mark. The procedure to exclude Pakistan from the ‘Gray List’ has been initiated. According to this procedure, the technical evaluation team of FATF will be sent to Pakistan. “We are doing our utmost that this team should visit Pakistan no later than Oct this year. We will ensure comfort and ease to the said team during their visit to Pakistan. I am hopeful that the ‘omission of Pakistan from FATF Gray List’ will be completed in Oct 2022. I want to congratulate the whole nation on this achievement and I want to appreciate the hard work and burning of the midnight oil by the institutions, ministries, and other people in different sectors; indeed, this backbreaking work was acknowledged in FATF”, she added.

Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar congrats to Pakistan as FATF declares both Action Plans completed and the international community has acknowledged these efforts altogether. “Our success is the result of 4 years of a challenging journey. Pakistan reaffirms to continue the momentum and will give a boost to its economy. Well done Pakistan Team FATF”, She was speaking to EAT News.

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Now there is a conflicting debate between government and opposition for achievements in FATF and taking credit for this accomplishment. The former PTI government and its representatives believed and claimed that it is because of their efforts made during 2018 and 2021; as a result, Pakistan was able to be excluded from the ‘Gray List’ of FATF.

Former Federal Minister for Information and Broadcast, Mr. Fawad Chaudhary talked to EAT News on this matter. “I congratulate the whole nation and Pakistan on this occasion. I would like to glorify and magnify the efforts made during our government tenure to omit Pakistan from the ‘Gray List’ of FATF. Under the supervision of former Premier Imran Khan, our team performed something which never happened earlier in the history of the country. The current government of PML-N is deceiving the people of Pakistan by not telling them who actually worked beyond the call of duty on this subject, indeed, it was our government and our team. It is an inevitable and undeniable fact that Pakistan was included in the ‘Gray List’ of FATF during the previous tenure of PML-N. Now they (PML-N government) are taking credit for achievement for no reason”.

Dr. Shahbaz Gill the renowned leader of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) and Special Assistant to former PM Imran Khan spoke to EAT News on the telephone, he said all credit goes to the ex-PTI government who worked tirelessly on this issue. “The current PML-N government is just interested in political points scoring. When the legislation was being done by the PTI government on FATF last year, Members National Assembly (MNAs) from opposition parties and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) boycotted the National Assembly session. How can someone say that it is their achievement in FATF”, Dr. Gill added.

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On this occasion Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR) and Spokesman of Armed forces of Pakistan Major general Babar Iftikhar while quoting the Chief Army Staff (CAOS), said in his official tweet, “Completion of FATF Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) action plans by Pakistan is a great achievement. A monumental effort paved the way for ‘Whitelisting’. Core cell at General Headquarter (GHQ) which steered the national effort & civil-military team which synergized implementation of the action plan made it possible, making Pakistan proud”.

Setting aside the political point-scoring and taking credit for this success and accomplishment, no doubt it was much-awaited good news for Pakistan and the whole nation. As a matter of fact, this event will bring more prosperity and dignity for Pakistan among the nations of the world.

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Muhammad Farhan Niazi is a correspondent for Eat News in Pakistan and is an experienced senior producer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in feature and news writing, non-linear editing, radio, multimedia journalism, Online journalism, film production, and sound. Strong media and communication professional graduated from University of Peshawar.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.
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