Pakistan grey list: FATF meeting underway in Paris

Pakistan needs 12 out of 39 votes to exit the grey list

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A plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) began in Paris on Monday which will decide whether Pakistan will stay in the grey list or not.

The Pakistani delegation led by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar has reached in Paris and it also includes officials of the Ministry of Finance, the State Bank and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Analysts expect Pakistan to either exit the grey list soon after winning a “largely-compliant” rating from the FATF or might get more time from the watchdog to ensure full compliance.

Pakistan will be judged by an FATF plenary meeting in the meeting on the basis of the joint group’s report, for a possible exit from the grey list or at least avoiding the blacklist.

According to media reports, Pakistan needs only 12 out of 39 votes to exit the grey list.

Pakistan has already gained full support from China, Turkey and Malaysia, and aims to obtain 12 votes with escalated diplomatic campaign. Pakistan has ensured significant implementation on most of the recommendations and took necessary actions.

On Jan 28, the State Bank of Pakistan stated that Pakistan had made significant progress to get off the grey list while the central bank had been making all-out efforts to curb money laundering and terror financing.

While announcing the monetary policy with unchanged interest rate of 13.25pc, SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir had said that the last two [FATF] reviews in May and September showed that Pakistan had made significant progress in most of the 27 points raised by the FATF.

However, he maintained, the FATF was the final authority to decide if the progress was enough to pull Pakistan out of the grey list, adding that the country would have to continue making progress in this direction.

Last month, despite strict opposition from India, several FATF members, including the European Union and the United States, had expressed satisfaction on Pakistan’s performance report from October 2019 till January 2020.

The Pakistani delegation, led by Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar last month had presented the report in a meeting with the Working Group in Beijing, and explained measures taken and progress made by the country in stopping funding of terrorists and eradication of money laundering since October last year.

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