FATF Team Completes Pakistan Visit Ahead Of Paris Meet That Will Decide On Grey List   

FATF Team Completes Pakistan Visit Ahead Of Paris Meet That Will Decide On Grey List   

A high-level team of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, is learnt to have concluded its five-day visit to Pakistan, and the findings will be discussed and reviewed in the next meeting of the FATF scheduled to be in Paris in October. The 15-member team met the relevant departments and the authorities concerned, and verified the steps Pakistan claims to have taken to fulfil conditions to exit the FATF grey list, a local media report said.

Pakistan has been on the grey list since June 2018 for its failure to check money laundering, which leads to terror financing. It had been given a plan of action to complete by October 2019. The country, however, largely failed to comply with the mandates, and has continued to be on the grey list. In June this year, the international financial watchdog said Pakistan complied with the 34-point plan of action, and agreed to send a team to verify those steps.

If the team now gives a positive report, Pakistan may finally be able to exit the list, according to a report published in The Express Tribune on Saturday.

Quoting official sources, the report said the FATF team was given a state guest level protocol, and they stayed in Pakistan from August 29 to September 2.

Visit Was Kept Under Wraps

According to the report, Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee had approved a special grant of Rs 7 million towards the delegation’s accommodation, food and travel expenses.

The visit was reportedly kept under wraps. The report said its sources however said the team held meetings with the relevant authorities to verify the steps taken by Pakistan to fulfill the FATF’s condition on money laundering and terror financing.

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In 2018, the country had been given a 27-point action plan to comply with the FATF’s standards, but seven more points were added later.

According to the Tribune report, officials in Pakistan are confident that the delegation would give a positive assessment now.

Presence on the FATF grey list makes financial transactions difficult for countries. If removed from the list, Pakistan may gain the confidence of foreign investors, which will help give an impetus to its struggling economy, the report noted.