Pakistan can be removed from FATF ‘grey-list’ if adequate measures taken: FO

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday said that Pakistan can be removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s grey-list of countries if adequate measures are taken.

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“We will have to ensure the implementation of the action plan shared with FATF while we are on the grey-list,” FO spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said during a weekly press briefing in Islamabad.

“If adequate measures are taken, we can be removed from the grey-list,” he said adding that otherwise the country will “face problems”.

“Earlier we were also removed from the grey-list after we took adequate measures,” Faisal continued.

“We are in talks with the FATF over the plan of action.”

The FO spokesperson upheld, “We were told in February that we will be placed on the grey-list.”

Pakistan was added to the global money-laundering watchdog’s grey list after a FATF meeting in Paris confirmed the decision on Wednesday.

Presenting Pakistan’s case at the FATF talks at the meeting, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, the interim minister of finance and planning, apprised the global watchdog of the steps the country has taken to stem money laundering and terror financing, and put up a robust case for not placing its name on the grey-list.

During the crucial meeting, the Akhtar-led Pakistani delegation also spoke about Islamabad’s efforts against the banned outfits and various terrorist groups.

The Pakistani delegation’s case indicated that the nation has been working to curb financial assistance to terrorists, made existing laws better, and ensured improved implementation of the current regulations.

In compliance with the FATF’s recommendations, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), on June 20, issued the Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2018.

Prior to that, on June 8, the National Security Committee (NSC) had reaffirmed its commitment to cooperate with FATF and strive towards realising “shared objectives”.

Pakistan supports Afghan peace process

During his briefing, the FO spokesperson said Pakistan supports the Afghan peace process.

“Islamabad will support all efforts for reconciliation under Afghan leadership,” he added.

Dr Faisal asserted, “Afghan Taliban should accept the ceasefire offer.”

“All relevant parties should come to the table,” he urged.

The FO spokesperson further said, “Trust between Pakistan and US is growing.”

Regarding the death of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah in a US drone strike, Dr Faisal said, “Pakistan breathed a sigh of relief following the confirmation of his death.”

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