Pakistan to abide by FATF rules in future, says Bilawal

ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday said that Pakistan was committed to anti-money laundering and fighting terrorism.

Welcoming Financial Action Task Force’s unanimous acknowledgment of completion of action plans, the FM reaffirmed that the government of Pakistan was committed to continue this positive trajectory of reforming the financial sector as part of its larger strategic objective of strengthening the economy.

The foreign minister, in a statement said that announcement by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary of granting an on-site visit to Pakistan was a welcome development.

“It also reflected the remarkable progress made by Pakistan to enhance the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime,” he said.

Over the weekend,   FATF President, Marcus Pleyer   raised hopes of Pakistan’s removal from the ‘gray list’ after an upcoming visit to the country to determine its progress.

He said, an onsite inspection by FATF in Pakistan would be done before October, and a formal announcement on Pakistan’s removal would follow.

Pleyer said FATF is praising Pakistan for implementing the organisation’s action plans, a clear indication that Pakistan is moving closer to getting off the ‘gray list’.

The Paris-based group added Pakistan to the list in 2018. The ‘gray list’ is composed of countries with a high risk of money laundering and what FATF considers terrorism financing, but which have formally committed to working with the task force to make changes.

The FATF is made up of 37 member countries, including the United States, and two regional groups, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Commission.

FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he was certain that “this good news from FATF will restore confidence and stability in Pakistan’s economy, and act as a catalyst for sustained growth and development. Let me reiterate the government of Pakistan’s high level commitment to continue aligning our AML/CFT regime with global standards.”

He said Pakistan looked forward to the on-site visit and a successful and early culmination of the process leading to Pakistan’s exit from the grey list.

Foreign Minister Bilawal also commended the hard work and dedicated efforts of Pakistan’s FATF team that led to the successful completion of all technical requirements of both FATF Action Plans of 2018 and 2021.

“This (the success) was the result of concerted national efforts and complete harmony of interests by all stakeholders,” Bilawal remarked.

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