LAHORE, OCT 30 /DNA/ – Pakistan Businesses Forum hailing Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) decision of Pakistan’s removal from the grey list, but the PBF officials on Sunday demanded that now we should proactively detect and counter threats associated with perils like money laundering and terror financing. Criminal elements involved in the process should be penalised and deprived of illicit proceeds. The role of established financial intelligence units and other supporting bodies is critical as it can ensure that relevant information is appropriately shared and used by the competent authorities while investigating cases of money laundering and terrorist financing.
PBF President, Mian Usman Zulfiqar said the only way forward is to introduce a robust system that will not only help in detecting and mitigating potential threats, but will also help in achieving a higher conviction rate to restrict crimes designated by the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs), the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), using our financial systems.
He however lauded the efforts of civil and military leadership for achieving the landmark success for the country and said that it would further cement the government’s endeavours to attain sustainable economic development.
President PBF further said it will also address the liquidity issues as releases from the multilateral and other donor agencies such as IMF, ADB, WB and Paris Club would further enhance, he said adding that it would further boost the “credibility and rating of the local economy that would attract foreign direct investment”.
Meanwhile, Vice President Jahanara Wattoo said that the removal from FATF’s grey list would boost the confidence of international creditors and donors agencies including International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank and other development agencies.
She said that the decision would also help in promoting soft image of the country in all international forums, adding that the credit rating of Pakistan would improve as well, which will be another development signal for the economy of the country.
Pakistan had borne accumulative financial losses to the tune of $40 billion during the last three years as it was put on the grey list of FATF, she said, adding that the removal would attract more export orders from abroad and help in bridging the widening trade deficit.
“Besides, it will also help reduce rupee-dollar parity as well as ease negotiations with IMF and other multilateral donors and creditors,” he said, adding that it will also provide positive input for the rescheduling of all payable and creating sufficient liquidity scope for the country; Wattoo added.
Vice President Ahmad Jawad said that it was a good omen that FATF excluded Pakistan from the grey list of global watchdog on terror financing and money laundering after over four years, in a major setback to India which had always tried to keep Pakistan on the list.
He said as a result of FATF’s decision, economic activities would accelerate and greatly help to restore the confidence of investors across the globe.
Jawad said it is worth mentioning here that FATF, which was mandated to keep watch globally on money laundering and terrorism financing, on October 21 (Friday) removed Pakistan from the grey list as it had been on the grey list since June 2018.
Similarly we may also revisit our foreign assets recovery regulations and framework for future as per the international best practices to ensure that any request for Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) issued to seek cooperation must be corroborated with facts and accompanied by evidence; he added.