FATF Announces Its Decision on Pakistan’s Grey List Status

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Friday said that Pakistan has substantially completed its two action plans but on-site visits are required to verify the country’s implementation. However, it has not been officially removed from the FATF’s grey list.

“FATF made the initial determination that Pakistan has substantially completed its two action plans, covering 34 items, and warrants an on-site visit to verify that the implementation of Pakistan’s AML/CFT reforms has begun and is being sustained, and that the necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain implementation and improvement in the future,” the global money laundering watchdog said in a statement.

The FATF said that the on-site visit will be at the earliest possible date and Pakistan would be removed from the list if the on-site visit is successful. It added that Pakistan’s continued political commitment to combating both terrorist financing and money laundering has led to significant progress.

The Plenary meetings of the global watchdog were held in Berlin between 14 and 17 June 2022, where its members discussed a range of topics relating to Pakistan’s progress.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that FATF has acknowledged the completion of Pakistan’s both Action Plans (2018 and 2021) and has authorized an onsite visit to Pakistan, as a final step to exit from the FATF’s grey list.

“The FATF members while participating in the discussion on Pakistan’s progress, congratulated Pakistan for completing both Action Plans covering 34 items, and especially on the early completion of the 2021 Action Plan in a record timeframe. Pakistan continued its relentless efforts towards successful completion of these Action Plans despite many challenges including the COVID 19 pandemic,” it said.

The statement said that Pakistan has covered a lot of ground in the AML/CFT domain during implementation of FATF Action Plans. The engagement with FATF has led to the development of a strong AML/CFT framework in Pakistan and resulted in improving of our systems to cope with future challenges.

The Pakistan delegation, which attended FATF Plenary meetings in Berlin, was led by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs / Chairperson National FATF Coordination Committee Hina Rabbani Khar.

Pakistan was officially placed on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ‘grey list’ for the third time on June 28, 2018, and it has been taking measures for its exclusion since.

Pakistan was  first placed on the FATF grey list after it failed to meet the international anti-money laundering (AML) and combating financing of terrorism (CFT) standards in 2008. In 2010 Pakistan made its exit from the list after improving its AML/CFT regime. Pakistan was again placed on the grey list in 2012 and remained on the list till 2015.