Islamabad needs votes of Turkey, China, and Malaysia to get off FATF grey list.
BERLIN, GERMANY: All eyes are on the Financial Action Task Force‘s (FATF) plenary meeting concluding today (Friday), with Pakistan having high hopes to secure an ‘onsite visit’ which may lead Islamabad a step closer to get out of the grey list.
A government official said in conversation with the BBC that the recent updates on the plenary meeting show good signs of a decision in Pakistan’s favour.
He said that the consent and consolation of other countries in the meeting is also significant.
However, he said that matters will take seven to eight months to settle even if Pakistan makes its way out of the watch list as the FATF team will visit Pakistan for an inspection.
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Sources said that the FATF had directed Pakistan to fulfil 34 conditions in two stages, which Pakistan accomplished. The country fulfilled 32 out of 34 conditions in the last FATF meeting and completed the remaining two in this meeting.
They said that the final decision could be delayed till the next FATF meeting scheduled to take place in Paris in October.
Pakistan had launched a massive diplomatic effort to get off the FATF grey list. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, who is also the chair of Pakistan’s National FATF Coordination Committee, is leading the Pakistan delegation at the plenary meeting that started on June 14.
Pakistan needs the votes of Turkey, China, and Malaysia to get off the list, and all three countries have assured the Pakistani authorities of full support. That’s why there are now bright chances that Pakistan may finally exit the FATF grey list after its current meeting being held in Berlin, Germany.
Germany, the US, and other countries have also expressed partial support for Pakistan’s demand for exclusion from the FATF grey list.
According to sources, during the recent visits of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar to different countries, important discussions took place regarding FATF. In all these meetings, a soft attitude towards Pakistan was expressed by important countries.
Pakistan has implemented almost all points of the FATF Action Plan, except for the penalties, and Pakistan has made prosecutions and all relevant legal amendments.
Pakistan was placed on the FATF list of countries under increased monitoring in June, 2018.