Finally whitelisted

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AT a time when the country is faced with challenges such as that of economy and devastating floods, the country’s removal from Financial Action Task Force’s Grey list indeed is a breath of fresh air.

It was the consistent efforts of the last four years that the country finally has been whitelisted – a milestone for which all the civil and military authorities deserve appreciation for staying consistent and on course to reach this point.

This is recognition that Pakistan has strengthened the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering and combating financing terror regime and addressed technical deficiencies to meet the commitments of its action plans regarding strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in June 2018 and June 2021, the latter of which was completed in advance of the deadlines, encompassing 34 action items in total.

We believe the climactic graduation of Pakistan from the grey list will be a major relief and reap benefits in both, short and long run.

The immediate ramification carries reputational implication for Pakistan. This positive development bodes well for Pakistan’s image which was recently further dented by the downgrading of rating by International Credit Rating agencies like Moody’s.

With the international community, investors in particular, the removal from grey list is likely to strengthen Pakistan’s position especially with regards to the soundness of our financial systems and help regain their confidence.

Thus, we expect that this will entail great economic benefits, encouraging both domestic and foreign investors to invest in different sectors.

Moreover, going forward, this should also help strengthen Pakistan’s case of re-rating and upgrading by the International Credit Rating agencies besides paving way for successful ninth review of the IMF which is due in November 2022 enabling disbursement of next tranche.

Having said so it is important that we do not become complacent rather our efforts must continue to further improve our systems in order to avoid the grey situation again.

Pakistan has met two of the toughest action plans and one expects that other countries including India will also be measured with the same yardstick.

FATF needs to act in an apolitical manner and without any discrimination to maintain its credibility.

There is clear evidence of India’s involvement in terror financing and we will see how the watchdog acts against it.

 

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