FATF decision on removing Pak from grey list by Oct

The Financial Action Task Force has said that Pakistan will not be removed from its grey list immediately but a decision will be taken after an onsite visit before October to study Islamabad‘s actions against groups that fund terrorism.

A statement issued after its plenary in Berlin on Friday said that Pakistan had substantially completed its two action plans, but an on-site visit to verify if reforms have been implemented and sustained was needed. FATF also needs to see “necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain implementation and improvement in future,” the statement said.

“Pakistan is not being removed from the grey list today. It will be removed if the onsite visit finds its actions are sustainable,” FATF president Marcus Pleyer said. A formal announcement would follow the October visit. However, the watchdog’s visit will depend on the pandemic situation. It will continue to monitor Covid-19 and take a decision on a visit to Pakistan. Islamabad had lobbied hard to get out of the grey list, including hosting the German foreign minister recently.

Pakistan’s continued commitment to combatting terrorist financing and money laundering has led to significant progress. “In addition, Pakistan also largely addressed its 2021 action plan ahead of the set time. At the last plenary meeting in March, FATF had retained Pakistan in its grey list and directed it to do more in investigating and prosecuting senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups for terror financing.

Pakistan was placed in the grey list, or list of countries under increased monitoring, in June 2018 and given a 27-point action plan by FATF to curb terror financing. The country was given another seven-point action plan to counter money laundering last October, after it implemented 26 of the 27 points in the original action plan. FATF concluded during the plenary meet in March that Pakistan implemented 32 of the 34 items in the two action plans.

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Roy Walsh

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