PARIS, OCT 21 /DNA/ – Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar has said I wanted to share with the nation much-awaited good news regarding Pakistan’s engagement with FATF.
As you are aware, I, together with our very able and professional team, came here to represent Pakistan in FATF’s ICRG and Plenary meetings that have concluded today. During these meetings, the report of the FATF’s On-site Visit to Pakistan, which took place in the first week of September 2022, was discussed.
Alhamdolillah, I am pleased to announce that as a result of our sustained efforts during last four years, acknowledgement of our unwavering political commitment and the successful On-site Visit, FATF has fully recognized completion all substantive, technical as well as procedural requirements of Pakistan’s 2018 and 2021 Action Plans.
Consequently, FATF has unanimously decided to remove Pakistan from the “list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring”. In simpler terms, Pakistan has been whitelisted by FATF. FATF has already issued a formal public statement announcing this decision.
I would request you to refer to FATF’s Public Statement on Pakistan. Let me highlight its main points:
• FATF has welcomed Pakistan’s significant progress in improving our Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
• It has been recognized that Pakistan has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed technical deficiencies and commitments of its Action Plans comprising of total 34 action items.
• Pakistan has addressed all strategic deficiencies that FATF identified in June 2018 and June 2021.
• Pakistan completed the 2021 Action Plan in advance of the deadlines.
• Pakistan is no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process, which means, Pakistan has been whitelisted by FATF.
• To advance and promote international cooperation, Pakistan will continue to work with APG to further improve its AML/CFT system.
This truly is a result of a whole-of-country efforts and demonstration of our resolve to improve our domestic systems to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism and bring them at par with the international standards. This would not have been possible without complete national consensus across political spectrum.
I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank our leadership for providing strategic direction, confidence and support to all institutions throughout the process to achieve this key national objective. The success we have achieved today is indicator of what we can achieve when we work together with sense of purpose and commitment.
During last four years, Pakistan has undertaken broad-based and comprehensive legal, administrative and procedural reforms to improve all aspects of our domestic AML/CFT regime. This includes amending laws related to anti money laundering and countering financing of terrorism. We also increased synergy in the system, streamlined the processes, improved inter-agency coordination, enhanced international cooperation with other jurisdictions and organizations, instituted supervisory structures, created necessary administrative protocols and allocated sufficient financial and human resources to improve our compliance with the FATF Recommendations.
As a result of all this effort and hard work, Pakistan is now in a position where we can not only sustain the trajectory of these reforms without any international monitoring or pressure but can also share our expertise and resources with our countries in our region and beyond.
Taking this opportunity, I would especially like to appreciate the tireless and dedicated efforts our national FATF team who have done a tremendous job during last four years to meet all FATF targets. Multiple departments and agencies, both at the Federal and the Provincial levels, have contributed to this national cause. All of them deserve our appreciation and gratitude.
We have said all along that our partnership and association with FATF, and the wider international community, is rooted in our strategic objective of strengthening our economy and further improving its integration with the international financial system. We want to be seen as a responsible and active member of the international community that is well aware of its international obligations.
If there is one lesson that we should take as a country from the last four years is to build on this momentum of reform and not allow the gains to be reversed. We need to sustain the efforts for our own benefit and for the growth and development of our country.
In fact, we must now become a role model for the world. I have already directed my team to start exploring ways in which we can enhance our cooperation and partnership with FATF and the wider international community, especially on the issue of Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).
Pakistan has come a long way in improving our domestic AML/CFT framework and bringing it at par with the global standards. In many areas, we are now more compliant with global standards than most of the developed countries.
16.I am confident that this remarkable progress and the announcement of Pakistan’s exit from the FATF’s Grey List would give a much-needed boost to our economy and increase our economic and financial engagement with the outside world.
This is also a part of our wider focus on economic diplomacy. As you are all aware, economic diplomacy features very high on our agenda. We, at the Foreign Office, are placing a lot of focus on it so that we can utilize immense potential of our country and play a befitting role in the overall growth and development of Pakistan.
Together with other initiatives taken by the Government to attract foreign investment and promote ease of doing business, Pakistan’s white listing will usher in a new era of economic growth and activity.
I want to stress that the Foreign Office, and all other relevant stakeholders, would continue this momentum and work with renewed zeal to bring foreign investment in Pakistan and reap other economic dividends on Pakistan’s exit from the FATF’s Grey List.