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Sunday, February 5, 2023
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Imran Khan claims credit for FATF ‘achievement’

PTI Chairman and the former prime minister says all officials concerned ‘worked day and night to avoid blacklisting.’

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Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan credited his government with leading the country to this achievement after Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday announced that Pakistan had met all 34 conditions.

Taking to Twitter, the former premier praised the members of his cabinet and aides for eventually steering the country out of the FATF grey list.

Reportedly, the financial watchdog will schedule an on-site visit to verify the implementation and sustainability of Pakistan’s money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures and then remove Pakistan from the grey list if it successfully passes the visit ‘test’.

However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led coalition government was conspicuously silent over the development.

“FATF repeatedly praised the work and political will my government demonstrated,” Khan said in a series of tweets, adding that when his government came to power in 2018, it faced the direct prospect of blacklisting by the international body as the country’s compliance history with the FATF was allegedly not encouraging.

“I constituted a FATF Coordination Committee headed by key minister Hammad Azhar. The committee had representation from all government departments and security agencies relevant to our FATF action plan. The officers worked day and night in the first instance to avoid blacklisting,” he said.

Read more: FATF grey list: Hina Rabbani sparks criticism for not appreciating PTI efforts

Khan further claimed his government not only averted blacklisting but also completed 32 out of 34 action items. “We submitted a compliance report on the remaining two items in April based on which FATF now declared Pakistan’s Action Plan as completed.”

He expressed confidence that FATF’s on-site visit would also be a success and lauded former minister Azhar, members of the FATF coordination committee, and relevant officers, who “performed exceptionally well.”

Hammad Azhar – who was the government’s top coordinator for efforts on anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing – said Pakistan’s hard work on completing the 34-item action plan was a result of the “teamwork of officers who worked day and night in different government departments. They are the real heroes!”

Meanwhile, the PML-N’s official Twitter account criticised the PTI government for “diplomatically isolating” Pakistan, which resulted in various economic sanctions.

However, it added, the world nations have now agreed to restore relations and confidence in Pakistan.

Read more: #ThankyouImranKhan trends as Pakistan nears exit from FATF Grey List

Army takes credit for the ‘great achievement’

Meanwhile, the Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR) said the completion of the FATF anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) action plans was a ‘great achievement.’

The DG-ISPR said in a statement that Pakistan’s completion of the FATF action plans was ‘a monumental effort paving the way for whitelisting’.

COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa said, “Core cell at the General Headquarters (GHQ) which steered the national effort and civil-military team which synergised implementation of the action plan made it possible, making Pakistan proud.”

 

With input from Dawn