According to a local media outlet, sources in the Ministry of Finance have revealed that Pakistan’s progress was reviewed at a virtual meeting of the ICRG by international observers on Tuesday. China, USA, UK, France and India were a part of the group that assessed the country’s progress on FATF’s recommendations. Pakistan is now hopeful of making it out of the of grey list after making progress on 26 points out of 27.
The review group’s report on progress made by Pakistan will be presented before FATF’s plenary meeting that is scheduled to take place from June 21 and any decision to keep Pakistan in or out of the grey list would be driven by political grounds, they added.
The sources further said that Pakistan will probably remain on the grey list as it would take it two to three more months to implement the remaining one point keeping in mind the view of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. But the country is still hoping to be appreciated for the progress that it has made on the 26 points of the FATF Action Plan.
Pakistan’s history with FATF
Pakistan had first appeared in the FATF statement after the plenary meeting of 2008. Back then, FATF had noted the country’s adopting anti-money laundering legislation practices but had urged the government to address the remaining deficiencies that could lead to it having a vulnerable position in the international financial system.
In June 2010, Pakistan guaranteed a high level of commitment and declared that it would work with FATF and Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering to fix these issues. But in vain, as it could not demonstrate enough improvement to be taken out the grey list in October 11, even. A public statement by FATF issued in February 2012 listed Pakistan among countries who have “Jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies that have not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies or have not committed to an action plan developed with the FATF to address the deficiencies”. FATF believed that the country did not have suitable legislation to identify terror financing and confiscate terrorist assets.
In June 2014, Pakistan made its way out of the Public Statement to the second statement of “Improving public compliance” which acknowledged that the country had made a significant progress. And in no more than nine months, Pakistan was no longer subject to the FATF’s monitoring process under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process”.
However, in June 2018, Pakistan was back on FATF’s grey list. The FATF press release read that the ‘action plan’ should focus on plugging the holes in terror financing and activities of UN-designated terrorists. The country then submitted its action plan which includes 27 points aimed at improving its position in the international financial sector.
Currently, Pakistan is concentrating on the implementation of all recently-enacted laws to come out of FATF’s grey list in the next plenary meeting.