ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar on Saturday said that members of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) would take a decision to take Pakistan out from the grey list in the plenary meeting to be held in February.

“It is premature to comment or speculate on the decision that FATF members shall take in the plenary in Feb. Pak Authorities have worked very hard over the months and I feel we have made a significant progress in our AML/CFT efforts. We remain committed to sustaining this momentum. We also hope the attempts by certain quarters to politicise the FATF proceedings would be rejected,” said the minister on his social media account.

Pakistan’s team led by Hammad Azhar had defended the country’s compliance report during the joint group of FATF meeting held at Beijing from January 21 to 23. China had shown satisfaction over the Pakistan’s report of compliance. Out of total 27 actions, Pakistan was found fully compliant on five points in the last plenary meeting and now Pakistan was making efforts to comply with remaining 22 major points. Now, Pakistan would need 12 votes out of the total 39 to come out from the grey list and land into the white report in the plenary meeting of the FATF scheduled to be held in Paris on February 16, 2020.

Pakistan had briefed the joint group of FATF meeting about its action that had recently taken. The country’s central bank had imposed penalties on defaulting banks and statutory sanctions regime was implemented. The mandatory currency declaration scheme was also implemented at all airports of the country.

“We are hopeful that Pakistan will come out from the FATF grey list in next month,” said an official of the ministry of finance. He further said that Pakistan’s action had also impressed China and United States.

Indian media had also acknowledged the possibility of Pakistan’s exit from the FATF grey list.

China and the United States had recently appreciated Pakistan for its measures implemented against the anti-money laundering and terror financing.

“Pakistan has made all-out efforts to strengthen the domestic CFT regime with visible progress. Its political will and active efforts should be recognized and encouraged by the international community. We hope FATF will offer Pakistan constructive support and assistance in its continued efforts to improve its counter-terrorism financing system and effectively fight terrorist financing,” said China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang.