Credit for FATF triumph goes to State, not to any political party: Hina

Minister says on-site FATF visit a procedural requirement: Says process to get off grey list set into motion: National consensus matter of celebration: Good News to restore confidence in economy

By: News Desk
Published: 10:43 AM, 18 Jun, 2022
Credit for FATF triumph goes to State, not to any political party: Hina
Caption: TV grab.
Stay tunned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar has declared that Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has acknowledged the completion of both action plans by Pakistan and the credit for it goes to the State and not to any political party, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Ms Khar was addressing a presser in Islamabad on Saturday after her return from Berlin where she went to attend the plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). She hoped that Pakistan would come off the FATF grey list by October. She hoped once the country was off the FATF watch list, our economy would be improved. 

She lauded the state’s foremost measures aimed at stemming the financial aid to terrorists and discouraging money laundering. She said that Pakistan is now "one step away" from exiting the FATF grey list, and the planned on-site visit is a procedural requirement.

"The 2018 action plan has been closed and no pendency of action remains on Pakistan's part," she said, adding Pakistan had submitted three progress reports to the FATF regarding an action plan given last year which was related to money laundering. "I am pleased to announce that Pakistan has completed the entire seven-point action plan a year ahead of the given timelines," she added.

She eulogized the efforts of the state for enabling Pakistan to complete the action plan given by the international financial watchdog and succeeded in exiting the vicious grey list. She, however, cautioned, that the forthcoming exit did not warrant any celebrations as she regarded celebrations as bit premature. She only hoped that the FATF would remain impartial.  

“The process to come off the grey list has just begun. It’s not the culmination, rather it’s the beginning. We hope that Pakistan will come out of the list forever. Governments come and go. But the efforts which the state has made are commendable. We are ready to give credit to those who want this credit,” she said jubilantly adding that she would rather give credit to her team and her team is “Team Pakistan.’

Hina Khar said the development spoke volumes about the comprehensive reforms carried out in Pakistan in the anti-money laundering and counter terror financing (AML/CFT) domain and credited the country's "sustained momentum and result of our efforts".

"Consequent to the fruitful discussions held at the plenary meeting, the FATF has decided by consensus that Pakistan has addressed all technical benchmarks and completed all action plans - 2018 and 2021," she elaborated.

Hina declared that the FATF has now cleared Pakistan and the process to get off the “grey list” has been set into motion and a FATF team will visit Pakistan soon for the purpose.

“Pakistan is one step away from exiting the FATF ‘grey list’ and we are closely working with FATF to arrange a meeting,” Hina Khar said.

The global anti-money laundering watchdog on Friday expressed satisfaction with Pakistan’s performance but it stopped short of removing it from its ‘grey list’. In a delayed press conference about decisions taken in its plenary, the body’s president Dr Marcus Pleyer said that a FATF team would conduct an on-site visit to Pakistan at the earliest possible date.

“The progress made and recognised by our commitment to improve our […] and CFT systems…,” Hina remaked, adding that the FATF has decided that Pakistan has addressed all technical benchmarks and has completed all requirements of both action plans, that of 2018, and that of 2021.

It was “no less than Herculean feat” and a “remarkable achievement”, Hina said, adding FATF has now authorised an on-site visit of its technical team to validate the process of the implementation of reforms. “Let me emphasise because there might be some confusion, that this is part of the procedure of taking Pakistan out of the grey list,” she said, “When you authorise a country’s removal from the grey list, the first step is that you authorise an on-site technical evaluation which has been done in this plenary.”

She said that Pakistan’s positive and speedy progress, which paved the way for its exit from the grey list, was greatly appreciated and welcomed by the FATF members.

Pakistan is one step away from exiting the grey list, the state minister said, who led the delegation to FATF in Berlin.

She was of the view that Friday’s development marked the beginning of the end process that will eventually culminate in the exit of Pakistan from the grey list, inshallah and hopefully forever. The foreign ministry was working with the FATF team on mutually workable dates to conclude the visit before the October plenary.

On the sidelines, Pakistan stressed its high-level commitment to anti-money laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) to strengthen its regime and bring it to par with global standards. “I cannot emphasise this enough. We will highlight the complete national consensus. I can assure you that this is the government’s commitment to take this forward,” Hina stressed.

Hina said: “We will celebrate the national consensus. I want to also stress that cooperation with FATF and the international community is grounded in our own strategy objective of strengthening our economy.”

The minister expressed her confidence that this “good news” from FATF would restore confidence in Pakistan’s economy, and will give Pakistan a much-needed boost to improve the investment climate. “I really want to emphasis on the tireless efforts of our teams who have done a tremendous job,” Hina commended.

This is going to be a cross-government effort, she said and emphasised that it was for the state of Pakistan. “Governments come and go. But Pakistan’s consensus will continue on this,” Hina maintained.

The minister added that Pakistan is in a position now where it can sustain its trajectory of reforms. “We feel we are quite a bit ahead of the curve compared to other countries. We can be in some ways a model for other countries to follow. We will Insh’Allah exit the grey list as soon as possible.”