FATF team completes onsite five-day visit to decide Pakistan’s fate

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ISLAMABAD: This week, a 15-person team from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) finished a quiet five-day visit to Pakistan. This could help Islamabad finally get off the grey list.
The 15-person FATF team’s findings will be talked about and looked over at the next FATF meeting, which will take place in Paris in October.
If the findings of the on-site team are good, Pakistan would finally be able to admit that its system to stop money laundering and terror financing isn’t as good as it could be.
The FATF team, which was treated as a state guest, stayed in the country from August 29 to September 2, according to official sources.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) gave FATF Secretariat a special grant of Rs7 million so that the 15-member FATF team would have a place to stay, food to eat, and transportation.
The visit was kept secret, but sources said that the FATF delegation met with the right people and checked out what Pakistan had done to meet the requirements of the international financial watchdog on money laundering and terror financing.
In June, the FATF hinted that Pakistan might be taken off the grey list after it found that Pakistan was following the 34-point plan of action and agreed to send a team to check that these steps were being taken.
FATF put Pakistan on the “grey list” in June 2018 because its system for stopping money laundering and funding terrorism was not good enough.
It was given a 27-point plan of action and then a 7-point plan to follow the FATF’s rules.
The main problem was that some people on the UNSC list who were accused of funding terrorism were being persecuted. Just a few days before the FATF meeting in Berlin in June, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court found Sajid Mir guilty in a terror financing case. This made the FATF members agree that Pakistan had made progress.
Officials in Pakistan were sure that the FATF team would say that the country was making progress. Officials, however, warned that Pakistan’s neighbour could still use its power to slow down the case.
The United States is thought to have played a key role in Pakistan’s onsite visit because it was happy with the country’s efforts to stop terror financing, especially the way it prosecuted certain people.
Pakistan’s reputation will be fixed when it is taken off the FATF grey list, and foreign investors will be more likely to invest in the country. The gray-listing makes it hard for countries to do financial transactions and raises the cost of doing business.
Pakistan’s struggling economy will get a boost when it is likely taken off the “grey list.”