FM Qureshi questions FATF’s decision to put Pakistan on ‘grey list’

FM Qureshi

FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi questioned the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) decision to put Pakistan on its “increased monitoring list,” also known as the grey list, after the nation fulfilled 26 of the 27 criteria in the financial watchdog’s action plan.

Following a five-day plenary conference, the FATF praised Pakistan’s progress and attempts to resolve issues on its national action plan on Friday, and declared that the country would stay on its grey list until it addressed “the one remaining CFT-related item.” It has also given the government six additional areas to focus on in terms of anti-money laundering.

In response to the FATF announcement, FM Qureshi said, “it is to be determined whether FATF is a political forum or a technical one and whether it is being used to achieve political objectives.”

In terms of resolving the FATF’s action plan, the FM said that Pakistan has finished work on 26 points and that “significant progress has been made on the 27th point, and we intend to do more.”

He expressed sorrow that certain forces want the sword to linger over Pakistan.

Pakistan, he said, is acting in its own best interests. “What is our interest? Our interest is to curb money laundering and terror financing and whatever is in our interest we will continue to do so.”

The Financial Action Task Force has decided to keep Pakistan on its grey list and asked Pakistan to work to address strategically important anti-money laundering counter terror financing deficiencies.

Sources privy to the development told Pakistan Observer that FATF made this decision public after five-day plenary meeting in Brussels.

The source said that FATF noted that since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic counter terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan’s continued political commitment has led to significant progress across a comprehensive CFT action plan.

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