FATF to conduct on-site survey of Pakistan next month

ISLAMABAD: A team of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is expected to arrive in Pakistan next month to conduct an on-site survey in order to verify the steps taken by the country in light of the financial watchdog’s plan of action. 

The team’s purpose of visit is to survey and examine the measures taken by Pakistan to combat money laundering and terror financing before finally removing the country from its grey list.

The financial watchdog hinted at Pakistan’s ouster from the infamous grey list earlier in June after it concluded that Islamabad was in full compliance with its 34-point plan of action.

If successful, the on-site survey will pave the way for Pakistan’s ouster from the FATF’s grey list.

Pakistan was placed on the FATF’s grey list back in June 2018 when the financial watchdog declared that the country has deficiencies in its system of combatting money laundering and terror financing. Pakistan was asked to comply with the financial watchdog’s 27-point action plan in order to be removed from the grey list.

However, soon after the country had almost fully complied with the first action plan, the FATF then gave Pakistan another 7-point action plan to comply with.

After Pakistan’s compliance with all requirements set by the FATF, the organization is now seriously considering the country’s removal from its grey list after an on-site survey by a team of the financial watchdog.

Ahead of the crucial survey, the federal government is finalizing its strategy and holding meetings with the relevant authorities in order to make the visit a success.

Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar had earlier called an important meeting at the Foreign Office in Islamabad to review Pakistan’s strategy ahead of the meeting.

During the meeting, the National FATF Coordination Committee was given a detailed briefing by the attendants on the recent policy and administrative measures took by the government to improve Pakistan’s anti-money laundering drive.

The attendants included officials from the National FATF Secretariat and other important stakeholders. Officials from the ministries of finance, foreign affairs, law & justice and interior were also present during the meeting.