After facing pressure to take action against terrorism after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday warned the country of blacklisting it, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the incumbent government of Pakistan would achieve all targets of FATF and get the country out of the anti-money laundering body’s grey list.
Talking to the media on Saturday, the Minister said that the FATF recognised the steps taken by the Imran Khan government to control money laundering and terror financing, The Express Tribune reported.
Qureshi’s remarks come after a FATF plenary meeting, which was held in Paris from October 13-18, on Friday formally announced that Pakistan will remain on its grey list for the next four months till February 2020, handing it a final lifeline. The France based organisation, urged Pakistan to address all tasks given to it till February 2020.
The announcement was made by FATF President Xiangmin Liu who expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by Pakistan. Separately, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, who led the Pakistani delegation to Paris for the plenary, said Islamabad has targeted to complete all items on its FATF action plan and get upgraded from the grey to the white list in 2020, reports The Express Tribune.
“Pakistan has targeted to complete all items on its FATF action plan and will be upgraded from the grey list to the white list of the FATF in 2020. A coordinated effort from all regulators, LEAs, federal and provincial government departments is already underway,” he tweeted on Saturday.
The Minister however, added that more work is needed to be done as Pakistan’s action plan was perhaps the most ambitious and challenging one ever handed out to any country.
The global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering had placed Pakistan in the grey list of countries responsible for terror-financing in June 2018, presenting Islamabad with a 27-point action plan to adopt strict anti-money laundering measures till September 2019.
While noting recent improvements, the FATF expressed serious concerns with the overall lack of progress by Pakistan to address its TF risks, including remaining deficiencies in demonstrating a sufficient understanding of Pakistan’s transnational TF risks, and more broadly, Pakistan’s failure to complete its action plan in line with the agreed timelines and in light of the TF risks emanating from the jurisdiction.