Pakistan stays on the grey list as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has found that Pakistan has successfully conformed to 21 out of 27 tasks and agreed to keep Pakistan on its grey list by February 2021, the watchdog’s president apprised on Friday.
The decision of the FATF Plenary
Dr. Marcus, President of FATF while addressing a webinar to declare the verdict taken by the plenary in its three-day meeting period from October 21 to 23, apprised that the FATF has decided that Pakistan needs more action when it comes to fulfilling the requirements set out by the task force.
In response to a query, Dr. Pleyer replied that as the rest of the six conditions are fulfilled; an “on-site visit” will be approved under which a team from the FATF will visit the country for the next review.
“Our discussions are secret […] the members decided by consensus that Pakistan needs to complete these six items for an on-site visit to be granted.
“The moment the plenary come to decision that Pakistan has accomplished all the 27 tasks, then an on-site visit will be made. After that, it will be determined whether the country will be allowed to exit the grey list or not.”
The President informed that the new deadline for Pakistan to fulfill the rest of the conditions is February 2021 when the next plenary meeting will convene.
Dr. Pleyer further added that “As long as Pakistan can be observed moving ahead and fulfilling the conditions, it will be given a chance. There are some countries that are not achieving the required progress and have been positioned on the black list,”.
In the meanwhile, two countries i.e. Iceland and Mongolia were removed from the FATF’s “black list”.
Four areas of strategic insufficiency
After the conclusion of the plenary session, the anti-money laundering watchdog apprised that it had noted the noteworthy progress that Pakistan had made on a number of action plan items.
“As of the day, Pakistan has achieved progress across all action plan items and has now mainly addressed 21 of the 27 action items,” it intimated, Further: “As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2021.”
Responding to the decision of the FATF, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar apprised that Pakistan has “achieved prominent progress” on its FATF action plan.
He said that 21 out of 27 action items “now stand cleared” and the remaining 6 are “partially complete”.
Hamad Azhar, who formerly held the portfolio of Minister for Economic Affairs, apprised that “within a year”, Pakistan has progressed from 5/27 to 21/27 completed items.
Pak has achieved impressive progress on its FATF action plan.
21 out of 27 action items now stand cleared. Remaining 6 rated as partially complete.
Within a year, we progressed from 5/27 to 21/27 completed items.
FATF acknowledged that any blacklisting is off the table now. 1/2
— Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) October 23, 2020
He added that discussions in the lead up to the decision “stayed focused on how Pakistan can be facilitated” for the forthcoming evaluation, due mid next year.
He further added that “I congratulate our Federal and Provincial teams who have worked day and night even during the pandemic to make sure this turn around,”
The previous session of FATF Plenary
The plenary was previously planned in June but got postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The FATF plenary, in February 2020, granted Pakistan a grace period of four months to complete its 27-point action plan against money-laundering and terror financing (ML&TF) after it noted that the country was compliant on 14 points.