Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting is scheduled to be held on 21 June, 2021. This latest FAFT plenary, will weigh in on Pakistan’s status; whether Pakistan will stay in “grey list” or will come out. There are zero chances that Pakistan will be blacklisted as Pakistan has made significant progress on 26 items of Action Plan given by FATF and only one item is left undealt out of 27. For the first time Pakistan was out on Grey list by International Watchdog on Financial Terrorism Agency in Feb 2012.
Prime Minister Imran Khan after assuming the office in 2018 besides his team has performed remarkably to come out of “grey list’ of FATF. During the three years of PTI Government, extraordinary steps have been taken to exit grey list and avoided to fall under Black category. In Feb 2021 Pakistan constituted 14 Members Multi Agency Money Laundering Investigation & Coordination Committee under FBR’s FATF Cell comprising of FBR, NAB, ANF, Financial Monitoring Unit , IB, ISI and CTD personnel. This Committee didn’t leave a single stone unturned to make progress on all Action Plan Items given by FATF .
Pakistan seemed determined to come out of grey list through out this time because many digital payment companies and online money transfer platforms like PayPal has been reluctant to launch their services in Pakistan for being in restricted list by FATF. However Pakistan is hopeful that it will manage to come out of grey list, with corollary of economic growth. Moreover the support from friendly countries China, Turkey and Malaysia will be game changer despite India’s sensitivity over keeping Pakistan in grey list.
It’s pertinent to mention that State of Pakistan has made result oriented developments for normalizing and easing out banking transactions. Federal Investigation Agency has done commendable work to curb Hundi and illegitimate money translations which will pave the ways to help Pakistan to exit grey list.
Technically Pakistan is in better position than several countries like SriLanka , USA and several European countries with lower score than Pakistan. In comparison with other countries like New Zealand, USA, and China shown in Asia Pacific Group’s latest study, and with only one non-complaint item Pakistan has fair chances to join white list.