Opening Remarks by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

Islamabad (Rana Tariq)

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As you are already aware, I led the Pakistan’s delegation in the FATF Plenary Meeting that concluded yesterday in Berlin, Germany.
During the meeting, the recommendations of FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) on Pakistan’s 2018 and 2021 Action Plans were discussed.

On 2018 Action Plan, this was consideration of our eleventh report to FATF. FATF has now acknowledged by consensus that all action items have been largely addressed by Pakistan. The 2018 Action Plan has been closed with no pendency of action on the part of Pakistan.

On 2021 Action Plan, which was mostly related to money laundering issues, Pakistan submitted three progress reports. I am very pleased to announce that Pakistan has completed the entire seven-point Action Plan a year ahead of the prescribed timelines. This swift pace and progress is indicative of the comprehensive reforms and actions that have been carried out by Pakistan in the AML/CFT domain and sustained momentum of our efforts. Pakistan’s positive and speedy progress was greatly appreciated and welcomed by FATF members.

FATF has acknowledged completion of both Action Plans by Pakistan, duly recognized our tremendous progress and commitment to improve our AML/CFT systems.

Consequent to the fruitful discussions held in the Plenary, the FATF decided, by consensus, that Pakistan has addressed all technical benchmarks and has completed all requirements of the both Action Plans. As a result of this remarkable achievement, FATF has now authorized an On-site visit of its technical team to Pakistan to validate whether the process of implementation of reforms.

The successful completion of the FATF Action Plans and its formal endorsement by FATF means that Pakistan has come a step away from exiting from the Grey List.

The On-site visit is a procedural requirement. It marks the beginning of the end-process that will eventually culminate in the exit of Pakistan from FATF’s Grey List. We are working closely with the FATF to arrange the On-site visit at mutually convenient dates with a view to conclude the entire process at the earliest and before the next FATF Plenary in October 2022.
During our interactions on the sidelines of the FATF Plenary, we stressed Pakistan’s high-level political commitment that has brought our AML/CFT framework at par with global standards. We have been highlighting the complete national consensus in Pakistan on this issue which is supported by institutional harmony and synergy.
I want to take this opportunity to stress once again that Pakistan’s cooperation with the FATF and the international community is grounded in our strategic objective of strengthening our economy and further improve its integration with the international financial system. I am confident that this good news from FATF will restore confidence in our economy, will give it a much-needed boost, and would improve investment climate.

I also want to acknowledge the tireless efforts of our teams who worked day and night to achieve our objectives and completed FATF Action Plans. This was indeed a whole of country response. Multiple ministries, departments and agencies, at all levels of the Government have contributed to this national cause. It also demonstrates that when we work together with a sense of purpose we can achieve remarkable things.

I also want to convey our gratitude to our international partners and friends for their understanding, support and cooperation throughout this process. By the Grace of God, Pakistan is in a position that not only can sustain its trajectory of reforms well into the future, but can also provide guidance and technical support to other countries in this area.

I am sure that we will be fully prepared during the On-site visit and will exit the Grey List at the earliest. Insha Allah!