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Pakistan ready to be removed from the FATF grey list: Hammad Azhar

Speaking to the media on Sunday, the chairman of the FATF Coordination Committee Hammad Azhar said the government has done its homework. Pakistan was put on the list in 2018 and government has been working towards getting the country off the hook.

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Federal Minister of Industries and Production Hammad Azhar has said that the government’s ‘homework’ to help Pakistan leave the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list has been completed.

Speaking to the media on Sunday the 21st March, the federal minister said Pakistan was put on the grey list because of the inefficiencies of previous governments but said the PTI regime would soon help remove the country from it.

Read More: Pakistan stays in grey list by FATF; plenary appreciates its hard work

Pakistan had its last plenary hearing on 26th February, where after four days of discussions and meetings it was revealed by the international governmental organization (IGO) that Pakistan has achieved 24 out of 27 targets of the action plan.

Dr. Macus Pleyer, president of FATF said, “As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan before June 2021.” He added that Pakistan will not be attending the plenary held in April but will be partaking in the one in June 2021.

According to the last hearing, the three remaining targets are under improving oversights. Pakistan according to FATF can achieve the target by: (I) demonstrating that TF [terror financing] investigations and prosecutions target persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities: (2) demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions: and (3) demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists, specifically those acting for or on their behalf.

Pakistan was placed on FATF in June 2018 in the list of “High-Risk Jurisdictions subject to Enhanced Monitoring” owing to structural deficiencies in AML/CFT (Anti-Money Laundering & Countering the Financing of Terrorism) Frameworks.

Over time Pakistan has passed legislation at different levels complying with FATF’s requirements to get off the FATF.

Global Village recently published certain points questioning FATF’s yardstick for keeping a country on the grey list. These points question the organization’s impartiality towards countries.

Some of the important ones include the organization deliberating Ignoring to include India and Afghanistan in its list even with credible evidence available.

It is thus, not out of place to point that the FATF accountability laws are being used for splintering and fracturing strategically selective countries like Pakistan.

Read More: 10 questions if FATF is biased against Pakistan

According to a timeline by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, there has been an improvement in Pakistan’s relations with the Financial Action Task Force.