Islamabad: Pakistani officials remain confident that the global money-laundering watchdog will remove it from the international ‘grey list’ after the country introduced several measures to meet the criteria.
The four-day virtual meeting of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that began on February 22 would announce the final decision to keep or remove Pakistan from the grey list from February 25.
In the last plenary in October 2020, FATF had stated that Pakistan would continue to remain on its grey list till February 2021 for not meeting six out of 27 action plan targets on anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).
Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had earlier expressed hope that no politically motivated decision would be taken by the FATF and that the global watchdog would delist Pakistan from its grey list as “substantial progress” had been made on the remaining six items.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri is also optimistic that the watchdog would take a decision based on the merits, as “Pakistan has made significant progress in the remaining six partially addressed items.”
Pakistan’s key ministers believe that the country has made robust progress to meet FATF recommendations and the parliament has taken concrete steps to address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing regimes which the international community has also acknowledged.
During the last year, Pakistan amended several laws and implemented various legal and administrative actions to remove the faults and address FATF concerns as per international standards. The new legislation included improving the country’s financial security mechanisms, freezing and seizure of assets and travel bans and arms embargoes on entities and individuals designated on UN sanctions lists.