The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Paris-based watchdog on terror financing and money laundering has removed Pakistan from its grey list after four years.
Reacting to the decision, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi said: “We understand that Pakistan will continue to work with the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) to further improve its Anti Money Laundering (AML) /Counter Terror Financing (CFT) system.
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) October 21, 2022
The MEA said: “As a result of FATF scrutiny, Pakistan has been forced to take some action against well-known terrorists, including those involved in attacks against the entire international community in Mumbai on 26/11. It is in global interest that the world remains clear that Pakistan must continue to take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustained action against terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from territories under its control”.
The Pakistani government welcomed the FATF decision.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tweeted: “Pakistan exiting the FATF grey list is a vindication of our determined and sustained efforts over the years. I would like to congratulate our civil & military leadership as well as all institutions whose hard work led to today’s success. Aap sab ko bohat bohat Mubarak”.
I would particularly commend the role & efforts of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and their teams & all political parties for putting up a united front to get Pakistan out of the grey list. Alhumdulillah! https://t.co/LkX5tupMQe
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) October 21, 2022
Announcing the decision, FATF President, T Raja Kumar, said: “Pakistan has been on the grey list since 2018. There was a list of action plan items that it had to undertake and as far as demonstrated, Pakistan has taken action and largely addressed all of the action items it was subject to. So we were satisfied after the FATF inspection team went down to Pakistan, spoke to the authorities, took a look, verified and were satisfied that there was high level political commitment on part of the Pak authorities to not just implement the current set of action steps that they need to take but they are also committed to ongoing reform.”
It’s the final day of the FATF plenary in Paris. Government delegates and partner organisations, including the @UN, @IMFNews & @WorldBank, have been discussing money laundering and terrorist financing issues. News conference expected at 1700 Paris time ➡️ https://t.co/GcbyUOujhZ pic.twitter.com/oEP31XuNel
— FATF (@FATFNews) October 21, 2022
The decision was taken by the FATF in its two-day plenary session at Singapore. It was being speculated that Pakistan will be taken off the FATF monitoring list to enable it to access international funding.