ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Expressing pleasure over Pakistan’s exit from Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairperson National FATF Coordination Committee Hina Rabbani Khar said that it would give a much-needed boost to our economy and increase our economic and financial engagement with the outside world.
In her opening remarks in a Press Conference post the FATF Plenary in Paris on Friday, Hina Rabbani Khar announced that as a result of our sustained efforts during the last four years, acknowledgement of our unwavering political commitment and the successful On-site Visit, the FATF has fully recognized completion all substantive, technical as well as procedural requirements of Pakistan’s 2018 and 2021 Action Plans.
Consequently, the FATF has unanimously decided to remove Pakistan from the “list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring” and now Pakistan has been whitelisted by the FATF.
Pakistan has MA exited FATF Grey List. This has been a long and arduous journey that has only been made possible through strong political ownership across the political spectrum. It shows Pakistan can achieve much when we work together for Pakistan’s interest. pic.twitter.com/AUWZcXW4l8
— Hina Rabbani Khar (@HinaRKhar) October 21, 2022
There are many people who consistently worked through the 4 yrs to achieve success today. A few of them are here in Paris who were part of the final lap, but many others in a wide array of ministries/orgs/institutions are in Pakistan. I particularly want to congratulate them also
— Hina Rabbani Khar (@HinaRKhar) October 21, 2022
Sharing the main points of the FATF’s public statement on Pakistan, the minister said;
- FATF has welcomed Pakistan’s significant progress in improving our Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
- It has been recognized that Pakistan has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed technical deficiencies and commitments of its Action Plans comprising of total 34 action items.
- Pakistan has addressed all strategic deficiencies that FATF identified in June 2018 and June 2021.
- Pakistan completed the 2021 Action Plan in advance of the deadlines.
- Pakistan is no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process, which means, Pakistan has been whitelisted by FATF.
- To advance and promote international cooperation, Pakistan will continue to work with APG to further improve its AML/CFT system.
Hina Rabbani Khar said that this truly is a result of a whole-of-country efforts and demonstration of our resolve to improve our domestic systems to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism and bring them at par with the international standards.
This would not have been possible without complete national consensus across political spectrum, she said.
The minister of state thanked the leadership for providing strategic direction, confidence and support to all institutions throughout the process to achieve this key national objective.
“The success we have achieved today is indicator of what we can achieve when we work together with sense of purpose and commitment,” she said.
The minister said that during the last four years, Pakistan has undertaken broad-based and comprehensive legal, administrative and procedural reforms to improve all aspects of our domestic AML/CFT regime. This includes amending laws related to anti money laundering and countering financing of terrorism.
The minister said that we also increased synergy in the system, streamlined the processes, improved inter-agency coordination, enhanced international cooperation with other jurisdictions and organizations, instituted supervisory structures, created necessary administrative protocols and allocated sufficient financial and human resources to improve our compliance with FATF recommendations.
As a result of all this effort and hard work, we are now in a position where we can not only sustain the trajectory of these reforms without any international monitoring or pressure but can also share our expertise and resources with our countries in our region and beyond, she said.
Hina Rabbani Khar also appreciated the tireless and dedicated efforts of the national FATF team for doing a tremendous job during the last four years to meet all FATF targets.
“Multiple departments and agencies, both at the federal and the provincial levels, have contributed to this national cause. All of them deserve our appreciation and gratitude,” she said.
The minister that we have said all along that our partnership and association with FATF, and the wider international community, is rooted in our strategic objective of strengthening our economy and further improving its integration with the international financial system.
“We want to be seen as a responsible and active member of the international community that is well aware of its international obligations,” she said.
“If there is one lesson that we should take as a country from the last four years is to build on this momentum of reform and not allow the gains to be reversed. We need to sustain the efforts for our own benefit and for the growth and development of our country.”
The minister also emphasized that we must now become a role model for the world, and she has already directed her team to start exploring ways in which we can enhance our cooperation and partnership with FATF and the wider international community, especially on the issue of Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).
Hina Rabbani Khar said that Pakistan has come a long way in improving its domestic AML/CFT framework and bringing it at par with the global standards. In many areas, Pakistan is now more compliant with global standards than most of the developed countries, she said.
In addition, she said that together with other initiatives taken by the government to attract foreign investment and promote ease of doing business, Pakistan’s white listing will usher in a new era of economic growth and activity.
“I want to stress that the Foreign Office, and all other relevant stakeholders, would continue this momentum and work with renewed zeal to bring foreign investment in Pakistan and reap other economic dividends on Pakistan’s exit from the FATF’s grey list,” the minister said.