We're Live Bangla Monday, October 26, 2020

Pakistan eyes removal from FATF gray list

DIGEST-ENG-17-10-2020-Pak

Pakistan hopes to be taken off the gray list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money-laundering watchdog, by end of the month, an official of the South Asian country has said.

Underlining that Pakistan has made significant progress in implementing FATF criteria the statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri came just days ahead of an FATF virtual plenary meeting scheduled Oct. 21-23 in Paris to review Islamabad's performance on its action plan.

"The process of FATF is ongoing. Pakistan is implementing the FATF Action Plan since 2018 and we have made significant progress in this regard. Our entire AML/CFT [Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism] regime has been revamped in compliance with the Action Plan to bring it to the international standards set by FATF," Chaudhri told reporters.

Islamabad's efforts include legislative, regulatory and operational measures, he said, adding that the FATF had also acknowledged Pakistan's political commitment and progress multiple areas of the Action Plan.

"We are committed to and moving towards completion of the Action Plan. We remain engaged with the process," he said.

Islamabad has been on the FATF's Compliance Document, also known as its Gray List, since June 2018 for alleged terrorist financing and money laundering risks after an assessment of the country's financial system and security mechanisms.

In February, the 36-nation watchdog agreed to give Pakistan until June, when it would review the country's status on the list, to comply with all 27 points listed in the action plan.

However, the meeting was postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In September, the country's parliament amended 14 laws related to its legal system to fulfill the FATF standards, while having already satisfied 13 other points.

Since 2018, Pakistan has since twice escaped being placed on the watchdog's financial crime blacklist with the support of Turkey, China and Malaysia.