Diplomatic push, must for Pakistan to exit FATF grey list: Pak daily

Islamabad, May 21, IRNA -- Leading local English news daily says Pakistan needs to launch an aggressive diplomatic effort to secure enough support and votes to exit the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

'Dawn' reported that a senior government official told the paper that the coming FATF Plenary and Working Group meetings in US scheduled for June 16-21, would be crucial for Pakistan to get rid of the grey list or fall into the black list having serious economic reper­cussions.

Pakistan was now fully compliant with the related United Nations resolutions, said the official who was part of the Pakistani delegation to ‘Face-to-Face meeting’ of the Asia-Pacific Group, a regional affiliate of the FATF, in Guangzhou, China last week.

Pakistan has taken aggressive steps over the last two months in terms of regulatory and monitoring mechanism to meet the FATF requirements and its legal system is generally up to the mark, except some amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) 2010 pending before the National Assembly’s standing committee on finance and revenue.

It is expected that Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi would now coordinate with stakeholders on a strategy to reach out to the world capitals in difficult diplomatic environment over FATF issue.

According to reports Pakistan needs 15-16 votes to move out of the grey list and a minimum of three votes to avoid falling into the blacklist. The FATF currently comprises 36 members with voting powers and two regional organisations, representing most of the major financial centres in all parts of the globe.

The FATF plenary had formally placed Pakistan in the grey list in June 2018 due to ‘strategic deficiencies’ in its AML/CFT regime after the country could not secure a minimum of three votes as its friends had their own political targets to secure in the global watchdog.

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