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Pakistan reportedly removed from FATF’s grey list

ISLAMABAD: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has reportedly removed Pakistan from the ‘grey list’ after finding it in compliance with the action items.

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 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.

PTI’s Shireen Mazari hailed the reports as yet another success of the PTI government and thanked former prime minister Imran Khan.

She once again questioned the need for regime change conspiracy when all indicators were on a positive trajectory. She asked if it was to deliberately make Pakistan nosedive on all fronts centering on the economy.

Speculative Reporting

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar dispelled the impression of being removed from the grey list. She said FATF plenary meetings are continuing in Berlin and the global financial watchdog will issue a public statement after conclusion of the meetings. 

“Prejudging the outcome or speculative reporting could and should be avoided,” she said, adding the government of Pakistan has arranged a media briefing at Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday morning on this issue.

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 on the list and which have been removed.

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