Pakistan’s status on the grey list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is likely to remain, as predicted by experts due to the two evaluations made by the FATF evaluation committee. Pakistan in the last two successive reviews has managed to meet 20 out of 27 clauses required by the FATF. The government needs to push the provincial governments for coordination because there is a lag in the coordinated efforts of the federal and provincial. The current instability in the system also builds a narrative against the country and if Pakistan fails to meet its target, the risk attached to the status of being in the greylist is massive.

The main bone of contention at the moment is the streamlining of the banking system which allows funding of extremist organisations. If the banking network is improved, the government can significantly curb the activities of extremists in the region. In the last eight months, the government has pushed the banking system for reforms so that all individuals with a financial network can be under the radar of the government. There is a need to collaborate with banks to provide information about accounts that are not verified and have an influx of capital regularly.

Pakistan will submit its next report on its action plan to the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) by December 7. The APG will return the report with its questions and feedback by December 17. Mr Hammad Azhar, the minister responsible for economic affairs division, is optimistic that Pakistan will meet its target and be able to steer away from the greylist.

Due to Pakistan’s risk status, the country is being pushed to accomplish more than 80 percent of the clauses set by the FATF. Traditionally countries have been removed from the list after compliance of just 80 percent of the clauses. Pakistan stands at a very crucial position due to the anti-Pakistan rhetoric in the West. The efforts of our government and military need to be highlighted because Pakistan itself has suffered endlessly at the hands of extremism and is participating to help end the war in Afghanistan as well. Diplomatic efforts need to be more rigorous to help Pakistan regain its status as a peaceful country. At the same time, the government needs to improve its efforts in revenue collection because the shortfall is impacting Pakistan’s position.