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Pakistan likely to exit FATF’s terror funding ‘grey list’

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Pakistan is likely to have its name removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “grey list” after being added to it four years ago for supporting terrorism and money laundering after being deemed to be in compliance with the action plan outlined by the international financial watchdog.

When the financial crime watchdog meets in Paris from October 18 to 21, it is expected that the decision to remove the South Asian country from the list will be made.

The international financial watchdog had outlined a 34-point action plan for Pakistan, of which 27 points dealt with funding of terrorism and 7 issues dealt with money laundering.

“At its June 2022 Plenary, the FATF made the initial determination that Pakistan has substantially completed its two action plans, covering 34 items,” the FATF stated in a statement following the June plenary.

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“Pakistan warrants an on-site visit to verify that the implementation of Pakistan’s AML/CFT reforms has begun and is being sustained, and that the necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain implementation and improvement in the future.”

From August 29 to September 2, a 15-person FATF team visited Pakistan. While there, the team spoke with authorities worried about Pakistan’s financial system, including the state bank and finance ministry, and after that, it wrote an on-site report on the nation.

The team’s findings, which comprised representatives from the US, UK, Australia, EU, and other countries, would be presented and debated during the plenary session in Paris the following week.

Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s foreign minister, will serve as the delegation’s leader.

Since June 2018, Pakistan has been included on the FATF’s “grey list” for failing to prevent money laundering that fuels terrorism.

Islamabad has had difficulty obtaining financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the European Union as a result of its failure to remove itself from the “grey list,” which has made the nation’s problems worse.

The FATF was established in 1989 to address risks to the integrity of the global financial system, including money laundering, funding of terrorism, and other related issues.

The European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council are two regional organizations among the 39 members of the FATF at the moment. In addition, India participates in the Asia Pacific Group and FATF discussions.

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