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Pakistan 'one step away' from existing FATF grey list, says minister

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Islamabad | June 18, 2022 2:25:20 PM IST
Pakistan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar on Saturday said that they are 'one step away' from the existing Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) 'grey list' and the planned on-site visit is a procedural requirement, a local media reported.

"Pakistan is one step away from exiting the grey list," she stressed. "The on-site visit marks the beginning of the end [of the] process that will eventually culminate in Pakistan's exit from the grey list, hopefully forever," Khar said as quoted by Dawn newspaper.

Addressing the presser following an announcement last night by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that Pakistan has "substantially completed its two action plans" and would be removed from the grey list after it passes the on-site visit to assess the implementation of Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism.

Khar shared that Pakistan had submitted the report to the FATF regarding an action plan that was given last year which was related to the money laundering case.

"I am pleased to announce that Pakistan has completed the entire seven-point action plan a year ahead of the given timelines," MoS for Foreign Affairs said.

Talking about the on-site visit, Khar said that the government was working closely with the global watchdog to schedule the visit at mutually convenient dates so that the process could be concluded prior to the FATF's plenary session in October, Dawn reported.

Responding to a question on whether the country would turn a "blind eye" to certain religious groups operating freely in the country and promoting "hate-mongering" and whether this is considered an internal issue, Khar said, "Nothing remains an internal issue when it has problematic repercussions."

Pakistan has been on the Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog's grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018. This greylisting has adversely impacted its imports, exports, remittances, and limited access to international lending.

In June 2021, the country was given three months to fulfil the remaining conditions by October. However,

Pakistan was retained on the FATF 'grey list' for failing to effectively implement the global FATF standards and over its lack of progress on the investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups.

Back in March, FATF had called Pakistan to work on "complex money laundering investigations and prosecutions." (ANI)

 
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