‘Powerful nations’ influenced FATF to keep Pakistan on grey list, says Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin. — AFP/File
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin. — AFP/File
  • “Pakistan will exit FATF’s grey list this year,” Shaukat Tarin assures nation.
  • Tarin says FATF has “no merit to retain the country’s status.”
  • On Friday, FATF had retained Pakistan on the grey list.

DUBAI: Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on Saturday said that Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) decision to retain Pakistan in its grey list is “politically motivated,” Khaleej Times reported.

In an interview with the Middle East publication, Tarin said: “FATF’s decision was taken under the influence of some powerful nations to pressurise Pakistan over its strategic policy decisions.”

He, however, reiterated that Pakistan will exit FATF’s grey list this year as the country has achieved almost all targets set by the task force.

The minister said: “FATF has no merit to retain the country’s status as it has made significant progress to meet its tough conditions.” 

He added that Pakistan has completed 26 conditions out of 27 of the action plan shared by the body.

‘Pakistan’s completion of FATF parameters will be acknowledged soon’

Earlier, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said Pakistan’s completion of FATF technical parameters shall be acknowledged soon, “despite challenges.”

Taking to his official Twitter handle, the minister wrote: “Pakistan is now just [two] items away from completing both its FATF action plans.”

Sharing details, Azhar said that for the money laundering (ML) action plan, six out of seven items were addressed within an unprecedented timeframe.

Meanwhile, for the terror financing (TF) action plan 26 out of 27 items were addressed. “A number of countries believe that we have already completed this plan,” he wrote.

“Our fight against ML [and] TF continues with unwavering national resolve. We wage war on these activities not just for global compliances but first [and] foremost for our own sake,” he added.

FATF retains Pakistan on its grey list

On Friday, the Paris-based global watchdog for money laundering and terrorist financing announced that it is retaining Pakistan on the grey list while noting that “significant progress” has been made in completing the required action items for removal from the list.

The FATF, in its statement, said that Pakistan has completed 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan.

“Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan’s continued political commitment has led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT action plan,” the statement read.

It further added the FATF encourages Pakistan to continue to make progress to address, as soon as possible, the one remaining item by continuing to demonstrate that TF investigations and prosecutions target senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terrorist groups.

The international watchdog said that in response to additional deficiencies later identified in Pakistan’s 2019 APG Mutual Evaluation Report (MER), in June 2021, Pakistan provided further high-level commitment to address these “strategic deficiencies pursuant to a new action plan that primarily focuses on combating money laundering.”

It further added since June 2021, Pakistan has taken swift steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime and completed six of the seven action items ahead of any relevant deadlines expiring, including by demonstrating that it is enhancing the impact of sanctions by nominating individuals and entities for UN designation and restraining and confiscating proceeds of crime in line with Pakistan’s risk profile.

“Pakistan should continue to work to address the one remaining item in its 2021 action plan by demonstrating a positive and sustained trend of pursuing complex ML investigations and prosecutions,” the statement read.

Pakistan endeavouring to complete remaining items of action plan: Finance Division

According to a statement issued by the Finance Division, the FATF reviewed Pakistan’s progress on both action plans in its Plenary meeting.

“The FATF members, while participating in the discussion on Pakistan’s progress, recognised Pakistan’s continuing commitment towards sustainable, robust AML/CFT frameworks,” the statement said.

“Pakistan presented its case in an effective manner and also reaffirmed its political commitment to continue with the efforts to complete the action plans.”

“The country is making endeavours to complete the last two remaining items of both the action plans, as early as possible.”

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