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FATF team’s on-site visit expected in September

'Exit from grey list will not only improve image but also give confidence to foreign investors'

For the verification of Pakistan’s efforts against money laundering and terror financing and eventually getting the country out of its grey list, the team of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) would conduct an on-site visit next month, local media reported.

In June, FATF found that Pakistan had completed the 34-point action plan and hinted at the removal from the grey list conditional to an on-site verification of the steps. The successful on-site visit would pave way for Pakistan to get rid of the grey list.

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According to experts, Pakistan’s exit from the grey list would not only improve its image but also will give confidence to foreign investors.

FATF placed Pakistan on its grey list in June 2018 after deficiencies were pointed out in its system to curb terror financing and money laundering. The watchdog had initially given a 27-point action plan but another 7-point plan was handed for compliance with FATF’s standards.

Pakistan has taken solid steps in order to comply with the action plan including the conviction of Sajid Mir by an anti-terrorism court in terror financing that really convinced the members of FATF to acknowledge the progress of Pakistan.

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Media reports have also stated that the United States (US) will also play an important role to ensure FATF’s on-site visit to Pakistan.

The next FATF plenary is due in October and before that, it is expected that a team would conduct an on-site visit in September. According to reports, Pakistan has been finalizing its strategy and consultations are being held with the relevant authorities on the matter.

According to media reports, the Foreign Office convened a crucial meeting last week chaired by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar. A detailed briefing was given on the legal, policy and administrative actions over Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).

The statement of the Foreign Office said that the minister expressed satisfaction with the trajectory of reforms. Senior officials of the national FATF secretariat, Finance Ministry, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Law and Justice, State bank of Pakistan (SBP), Financial Monitoring Unit, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), National Counter-Terrorism Authority, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) attended the meeting.



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