Pakistan leaves the FATF list

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By Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

After four years, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has removed Pakistan from its grey list. Pakistan was included in this list in 2018 when it was unable to check the risk of money laundering. During this period, Pakistan could not discuss or strike a deal with IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, and the Asian Development Bank (ADP).

Pakistan needed the support of China, Turkey, and Malaysia and their supporters to leave the list. In a statement following Pakistan’s removal from the list, it read: “The FATF welcomes Pakistan’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime. Pakistan has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed technical deficiencies to meet the commitments of its action plans regarding strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in June 2018 and June 2021, the latter of which was completed in advance of the deadlines, encompassing 34 action items in total. Pakistan is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process.”

Now that Pakistan has been removed from the FATF grey list, the country can focus on enhancing its economic activities and improving its rating in the books of International Credit Rating agencies. Much work needs to be done as the government, its various sectors, and their concerned offices have to make up for the four years that were lost while Pakistan was on the FATF grey list. Measures must be taken to attract foreign investment. The financial and economic system of Pakistan must be realigned with national and international goals and standards so all acts and tasks remain transparent. 

The removal of Pakistan from the list will also facilitate the ninth review of the IMF scheduled in November 2022. The disbursement of SDR 894 million will be used to bring Pakistan out of the financial crisis that it has been in for a long time.