ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar dispelled the impression of being removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list.
She said FATF plenary meetings are continuing in Berlin and the global financial watchdog will issue a public statement after the conclusion of the meetings.
“Prejudging the outcome or speculative reporting could and should be avoided,” she said, adding that the government of Pakistan has arranged a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday morning (tomorrow) on this issue
The state minister was responding to reports that Pakistan has been removed Pakistan from the grey list after being in compliance with the action items.
However, the FATF board will make an official announcement about Pakistan and other countries later today after the conclusion of the plenary session in Berlin, Germany.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar led Pakistan’s delegation at the FATF Plenary Meeting to review progress under the 2018 and 2021 Action Plans.
Amid reports of Pakistan being removed, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has taken credit for the achievement. PTI leader and former federal minister Hammad Azhar, who lead efforts to implement the FATF action during the previous government, also made the announcement.
He said the FATF’s Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG)released its latest report on the assessment of Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legal framework.
The report shows that out of FATF’s requirements, Pakistan has completed 35 items from its early of 31 items on the action plan. He said Pakistan has now joined a select group of countries with a high level of compliance.
Earlier, a government official told a news outlet that Pakistan is hopeful of getting off the grey list as this time “things seem to be going Pakistan’s way”.
“So far there are reports that this time the decision will go in Pakistan’s favour,” the spokesman for the federal government told the publication, He said the consent and satisfaction of other countries in the plenary are also significant in this regard.
The official said that even if Pakistan is removed from the list, it may take seven to eight months for matters to be settled. After removal from the grey list, the FATF team will visit Pakistan for onsite inspection, he added.
The four-day plenary session of the FATF is scheduled to end today after which the global anti-money laundering watchdog will announce its decision about which countries will remain in the list and which have been removed.