ISLAMABAD – Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Friday that Pakistan would finally be out of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey-list as September 2019 was the deadline for compliance with the body.
Answering a calling attention notice in the Senate, Umar affirmed that the negotiated action plan with the FATF would be implemented.
The recently appointed finance minister elaborated that 27 deficiencies in five broad categories had been identified in Pakistan’s anti-money laundering and terror financing regime, adding that the basic sectors identified were currency smuggling, hawala and financing to outlawed organisations.
The minister expressed that there was nothing we [Pakistan] could not comply with, saying FATF or no FATF, it was in our own national interest.
The lawmaker apprised the House that a national executive committee had been formed to deal with the issue which included representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other relevant institutions.
The first review meeting of the committee would be held on Sept 8, Umar added.
The minister also highlighted that Pakistan had its reservations over the procedure adopted to place it on the grey-list.
The finance minister remarked that even friendly countries did not support Pakistan and it was not for the first time that Pakistan was facing such a situation.
‘Pakistan had earlier been placed on the grey-list twice — in 2008 and 2012,’ added Umar, admitting that the placement on the grey-list was a negative signal, but did not mean trade or banking sanctions in near future.
The finance minister said a team of FATF visited Pakistan from Aug 13 to 16, but the visit was not linked with the review of implementation status.
The first review meeting would be held in Jakarta on Sept 11 and 12, explained the minister.