Bilawal looks forward to FATF's on-site visit

FM says removal from the grey list will act as a catalyst for sustained growth and development

Our Correspondent June 19, 2022
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Photo: FILE


Welcoming the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) unanimous acknowledgement of the completion of action plans, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday reaffirmed Pakistan's high-level commitment to continue aligning the country's anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terror financing (CFT) regime with global standards.

He underscored that the country was dedicated to reforming the financial sector as part of its larger strategic objective of strengthening the economy.

The foreign minister’s statement comes as the country stands on the cusp of being removed from the grey list of the world’s top anti-terrorism monitoring group.

Pakistan on Friday got a reprieve from the FATF as the international watchdog announced that the country could be removed from the grey list after a visit by a fact-finding team to verify the measures it has taken to deal with terror financing.

The country is confident of a positive outcome from the current FATF plenary.

In a statement, Bilawal acknowledged that the outcome was the result of concerted national effort and complete harmony of interests by all stakeholders.

He also commended the “hard work and dedicated efforts” of Pakistan’s FATF team which led to the “successful” completion of all technical requirements of both action plans.

He claimed that the announcement reflected the remarkable progress made by Pakistan to enhance the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering and combating of financial terror (AML/CFT) regime.

Read Pakistan all but exits grey list


The foreign minister maintained that Pakistan was committed to continuing the “positive trajectory” of reforming the financial sector as part of its larger strategic objective of strengthening the national economy.

He expressed confidence that the “good news” from the global dirty money watchdog would restore confidence in Pakistan’s economy and act as a catalyst for sustained growth and development.

FM Bilawal reiterated the government’s commitment to continue aligning the AML/CFT regime with global standards.

“We look forward to the on-site visit and a successful and early culmination of the process leading to Pakistan’s exit from the grey list,” he stated.

'Too early to celebrate'

Meanwhile, a day after the FATF acknowledged Pakistan’s progress in implementing the plan of action, a junior foreign minister on Saturday cautioned against premature celebrations.“Let’s not be overly celebratory right now,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar told a news conference soon after her arrival from Germany.

Khar led a Pakistani delegation at the FATF plenary meeting held in Berlin which decided to send its team to Pakistan in order to verify actions and steps taken by the country to implement its action plan.
The “on-site” visit is seen as a step in the right direction that may eventually lead Pakistan to exit the grey list.


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