AT long last, it has officially been announced that the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has declared Pakistan as compliant on all 34 points of two action plans that can now pave the way for its removal from the grey list after an on-site inspection by a Force team.
FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer, while addressing a press conference after the plenary meeting, noted a lot of work done by Pakistan during the last four years by implementing two action plans simultaneously to become complaint on all 34 items, hoping that the country would be removed from the grey list if it successfully passes the on-site visit.
Former and present rulers as well as other stakeholders are claiming credit for this positive development on the FATF front and rightly so as this is a national endeavour and all concerned played their role in devising plans and implementing them on the basis of two action plans that the Task Force had set as benchmark for Pakistan to qualify an exit from the grey list.
However, it is somewhat premature to celebrate the latest move as much depends on the ability of the country to satisfy the FATF team during the onsite visit and this requires minute preparations and closer coordination by different ministries, departments and agencies.
No doubt, a positive message has gone to global community that Pakistan is now fully complaint to the requirements of the FATF but sustainability of the actions is the core issue as Pakistan was first placed on the list in 2008 and removed in 2010 only to return to the list in 2012 and stay on it till 2015 (presently it has been in grey list since June 2018).
Analysts point out that Pakistan’s economy is dependent on international investors and the expected removal from the list will boost its imports, exports, remittances and access to international loans.
Pakistan will have an improved access to finances in the form of foreign direct investments and financial assistance from international donors.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, while congratulating the nation over this ‘big achievement’ remarked that it is evidence of restoration of Pakistan’s reputation in the international community.
It is also believed that the economy will start improving now as the new status will help promote investment opportunities, easing the financial burden on the government.
Pakistan’s borrowing capacity is also going to see an upgrade as the move will streamline its ties with institutions like the UN, IMF and the World Bank.
Based on what has been happening close to the FATF meetings, relevant authorities should remain alert not to give any opportunity to the hostile countries like India to make Pakistan a victim of their conspiracies or propaganda that could affect the final outcome.