The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is likely to send its team to Pakistan for on-site inspection in September, said a report in the local media on Sunday, before removing the country from its “grey list.”
This is significant because Pakistan was downgraded to the FATF’s increased monitoring list in June 2018. The FATF cited several vulnerabilities in Pakistan’s financial system which could be exploited by criminal elements for money laundering and terrorism financing.
If Pakistan is removed from the grey list in September, it will be a positive development for the country.
The global dirty money watchdog presented Pakistan with a 34-point action plan that must be executed in two phases before the country can be removed from the list.
During a media briefing in Berlin last month, the FATF president, Marcus Pleyer, praised Pakistan for making substantial progress in strengthening its financial system. He said the country would be removed from the grey list after “it successfully passes the on-site visit,” according to diplomatic sources. The FATF on-site mission could take place “in the early fall,”.
“Global financial crime watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will send its on-site mission to Pakistan sometime in September, a visit anticipated by diplomatic circles in Islamabad as a ‘final walk-through from the FATF process’ for the country,” the newspaper said.
It added: “The international diplomatic community believes that Pakistan’s moving from the grey list to the white list of the FATF will help develop new synergy and the international financial institutions will be better equipped to assist the Pakistani government in overcoming economic and financial difficulties.”
Pakistan’s state minister for foreign affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, who represented her country during the FATF plenary in Berlin, said last month that the international community had “unanimously” acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to fortify its financial system.
The foreign office also mentioned the “relentless efforts” made by the country to ensure successful completion of the FATF action plan despite several challenges.
According to the statement, Pakistan’s engagement with the FATF has resulted in the development of a stronger framework for combating money laundering and terrorism financing, and has improved our ability to deal with future challenges.