Sunday December 04, 2022

FATF team to visit Pakistan next month

The FATF had placed Pakistan on its grey list in June 2018

By Our Correspondent
August 27, 2022
FATF building. —Photo File
FATF building. —Photo File

ISLAMABAD: The Onsite Inspection Team of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is all set to visit Pakistan in the first week of September to assess rules, regulations, and strengthening of institutional mechanism in order to decide on removing the country from the grey list.

“Yes, the FATF onsite team is expected to visit Pakistan in the first week of September 2022 and after getting confirmation about the placement of institutional arrangements, irreversible rules, and regulations, they will share it with the next plenary — to be held in October this year — in order to decide on graduating Pakistan from the grey list,” top official sources confirmed while talking to The News on Friday.

When Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail was asked about the upcoming visit of the FATF team, he said the Foreign Office was looking after the FATF affairs; however, the FATF team was expected to reach Pakistan in the first week of the next month.

The FATF had placed Pakistan on its grey list in June 2018 and despite making many efforts, Islamabad was not removed from the list. Ironically, Pakistan had to implement two different action plans simultaneously and now the country has fully implemented all action plans.

The FATF team will scrutinize arrangements placed by the ministries, relevant departments, regulators, and law enforcement agencies to verify whether or not these systems and procedures were sustainable to combat money laundering and terror financing on a permanent basis.

This reporter sent out questions to the FATF’s headquarters in Paris and inquired when the Onsite Inspection Team was scheduled to visit Pakistan and that what will be the due process after this upcoming visit to exclude Pakistan from the grey list.

The FATF shared a written reply stating, “In order to be removed from FATF monitoring, a jurisdiction must address all or nearly all the components of its action plan. Once the FATF has determined that the jurisdiction has done so, it will organize an on-site visit to confirm that the implementation of the necessary legal, regulatory, and/or operational reforms is underway and there is the necessary political commitment and institutional capacity to sustain implementation. If the on-site visit has a positive outcome, the FATF will decide on removing the jurisdiction from public identification at the next FATF plenary. The concerned jurisdiction will then continue to work within the FATF or the relevant FSRB, through its normal follow-up process, to improve its AML/CFT regime. Specific details of the onsite visit are confidential”.

Last June 2022, the FATF found Pakistan compliant on all 34 points and recommended the onsite visit to verify the progress made by the country.