DUBAI: Finance and Revenue Minister Shaukat Tarin claimed the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) decision to keep Pakistan on its grey list is “politically driven,” according to the Khaleej Times.
Tarin told the Middle East publication: “FATF’s decision was made under the influence of some powerful nations to pressurise Pakistan over its strategic policy decisions.”
He did, however, emphasise that Pakistan will be removed from the FATF’s grey list this year since the nation has met nearly all of the task force’s objectives.
“FATF has no reason to keep the country’s status because it has made substantial progress to satisfy its stringent standards,” the minister added.
He went on to say that Pakistan has met 26 of the 27 requirements outlined in the body’s action plan.
‘Pakistan’s fulfilment of FATF criteria will be recognised shortly.’
Earlier, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar stated that Pakistan’s fulfilment of FATF technical requirements will be recognised “despite hurdles” shortly.
The minister said on his official Twitter account, “Pakistan is now just [two] things away from completing both of its FATF action plans.”
Azhar shared specifics, saying that six out of seven elements on the money laundering (ML) action plan were addressed in an unprecedented timeline.
Meanwhile, 26 of the 27 issues on the terror funding (TF) action plan have been handled. “A lot of countries feel we have completed our strategy,” he wrote.
“Our national determination to combat ML [and] TF is steadfast.” “We fight war on these operations not only for global conformity, but also for our own sake,” he continued.
Pakistan remains on the FATF’s grey list.
On Friday, the Paris-based global money-laundering and terrorist-financing watchdog declared that Pakistan will remain on the grey list despite “substantial progress” in fulfilling the essential action items for removal from the list.
According to the FATF release, Pakistan has accomplished 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan.
“Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regimes and address strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies,” the statement said.
It went on to say that the FATF encourages Pakistan to keep making progress toward addressing the one remaining issue as soon as feasible by demonstrating that TF investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist organisations.
In response to additional deficiencies later identified in Pakistan’s 2019 APG Mutual Evaluation Report (MER), Pakistan provided further high-level commitment to address these “strategic deficiencies pursuant to a new action plan that primarily focuses on combating money laundering” in June 2021, according to the international watchdog.
It went on to say that, since June 2021, Pakistan has taken swift steps to improve its AML/CFT regime, completing six of the seven action items ahead of any relevant deadlines, including demonstrating that it is enhancing the impact of sanctions by nominating individuals and entities for UN designation and restraining and confiscating proceeds of crime in accordance with Pakistan’s risk profile.
“Pakistan should continue to seek to meet the one remaining item in its 2021 action plan by establishing a positive and persistent trend of pursuing complicated ML investigations and prosecutions,” according to the statement.
Pakistan is working hard to finish the remaining elements on the action plan: Division of Finance
According to a Finance Division statement, the FATF examined Pakistan’s progress on both action plans during its Plenary meeting.
“While participating in the debate on Pakistan’s progress, the FATF members recognised Pakistan’s continuing commitment to sustainable, effective AML/CFT frameworks,” the statement stated.
“Pakistan effectively stated its case and reiterated its political commitment to continue with efforts to finish the action plans.”
“The country is attempting to finish the last two remaining elements of both action plans as soon as feasible.”