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FATF expected to move Pakistan out of grey list after 52 months

Pakistan expects the much-awaited welcome news as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is expected to move the country out of its grey list during the two-day plenary session starting on Friday in Paris.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar is currently in Paris to attend the meeting, Geo News reported.

The FATF will hold its first plenary under the two-year Singapore Presidency of T. Raja Kumar on Friday and Saturday.

“Delegates representing 206 members of the Global Network and observer organisations, including the International Monetary Fund, the UN, the World Bank, Interpol and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, will participate in the Working Group and Plenary meetings in Paris,” said the Paris-based global watchdog on dirty money.

The watchdog will announce the outcome at a press conference after the meeting concludes.

The country has remained on the ignoble list for almost 52 months, Geo News reported.

In September this year, a 15-member FATF inspection team and its Sydney-based regional affiliate, Asia Pacific Group, flew to Pakistan.

Team members assessed the country’s rules, regulations, and institutional mechanisms.

The FATF team scrutinised arrangements placed by the ministries, relevant departments, regulators, and law enforcement agencies to verify whether or not these systems and procedures were sustainable to combat money laundering and terror financing on a permanent basis.

The plenary will make the final decision after examining the assessment by the on-site team that visited Pakistan last month.

Based on the team’s report, the FATF is expected to provide relief to Pakistan after verifying the country’s steps to implement the plan of action.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, speaking to the media in Washington last week, assured that Pakistan will soon move out of the grey list.

The FATF placed Pakistan on its grey list in June 2018 for deficiencies in its legal, financial, regulatory, investigations, prosecution, judicial and non-government sectors to fight money laundering and combat terror financing considered a serious threat to the global financial system, Geo News reported.

Islamabad has attempted to get its name struck from the grey list since.

The FATF tasked Pakistan to implement two different action plans simultaneously, and the country has accomplished the conditions of the watchdog.

In June this year, the FATF expressed satisfaction that the country complied with all 34 points and recommended an onsite visit to verify the progress made by the country.

Islamabad made high-level political commitments to address these deficiencies under a 27-point action plan.

But later the number of action points was enhanced to 34.

The country had since been vigorously working with FATF and its affiliates to strengthen its legal and financial systems against money laundering and terror financing to meet international standards in line with the 40 recommendations of the FATF.

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