After a four-year battle to be exempt from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) heightened surveillance, Pakistan has finally been taken off the organization’s “gray list,” which prevents the funding of terrorism and money laundering throughout the world. The accomplishment was the result of four years of consistent labour by several departments working for various administrations. Pakistan has mainly handled all of the action plan issues, President Raja Kumar observed at the close of the FATF plenary. Pakistan learned this during an on-site inspection at the end of August. The onsite team attested to the Pakistani leadership’s high degree of dedication, the durability of changes, and their resolve to continue making improvements.
These action plans have allowed Pakistan to significantly increase the efficiency of this system for preventing the financing of terrorists. The actions taken by Pakistan will enhance asset confiscation results, strengthen risk-based oversight of financial and non-financial organisations, and boost money laundering investigations and prosecutions. The success is being applauded in government circles, and just before the FATF news conference started, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari congratulated the nation on the achievement. In a subsequent tweet, Prime Minister Shehbaz praised all political parties for presenting a unified front in order to remove Pakistan off the “grey list,” praising the roles and efforts of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and his teams. The government should keep up its persistent and forceful efforts to obtain a high level of technical compliance with the agreed FATF parameters. Now that the FATF grey list is a thing of the past; let us make sure that no more restrictions are needed in the future.