FATF good news
to revive confidence
in Pakistan’s economy;
comments Bilawal Bhutto

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed the hope that the “good news” from FATF will restore confidence in Pakistan’s economy and act as a catalyst for sustained growth and development.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad on Sunday morning, Bilawal Bhutto said “I welcome FATF’s unanimous acknowledgment of completion by Pakistan of its 2018 and 2021 Action Plans. I would like to commend the hard work and dedicated efforts of Pakistan’s FATF team that have led to the successful completion of all technical requirements of both FATF Action Plans. This was the result of concerted national efforts and complete harmony of interests by all stakeholders.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

“The announcement by the FATF plenary of granting an on-site visit to Pakistan is a welcome development. It reflects the remarkable progress made by Pakistan to enhance the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime.

“The Government of Pakistan is committed to continue this positive trajectory of reforming the financial sector as part of its larger strategic objective of strengthening Pakistan’s economy. I am certain that this good news from FATF will restore confidence in Pakistan’s economy and act as a catalyst for sustained growth and development.

“Let me reiterate the Government of Pakistan’s high-level commitment to continue aligning our AML/CFT regime with global standards.

“We look forward to the on-site visit and a successful and early culmination of the process leading to Pakistan’s exit from the grey list,” Bilawal concluded.

Pakistan’s Iron Brother China has also felicitated Islamabad over the positive development at FATF. In a tweet, the Chinese embassy in Islamabad extended congratulations to the Pakistani government.

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari applauded his country’s “remarkable progress” in improving its anti-money laundering (AML) and combatting financing of terrorism (CFT) regime by bringing it in line with international standards while describing the development as a result of concerted national efforts.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global dirty money watchdog, placed Pakistan on its increased monitoring or grey list of countries in 2018 since the financial system established by Islamabad was thought to have vulnerabilities that could be exploited by criminal elements for money laundering or funding terrorist activities.

The FATF said on Saturday Pakistan had substantially completed its two action plans that had 34 items. While it kept the country on the grey list, it said that Pakistan’s name could be removed from it following an on-site inspection.

“The announcement by the FATF plenary of granting an on-site visit to Pakistan is a welcome development,” the foreign minister said in a statement. “It reflects the remarkable progress made by Pakistan to enhance the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime.”

He commended the hard work and dedication of his country’s FATF team, saying its efforts had led to the successful completion of all technical requirements of the two action plans recommended in 2018 and 2021.

“This was the result of concerted national efforts and complete harmony of interests by all stakeholders,” he noted.

Bhutto-Zardari said the government wanted to maintain its “positive trajectory of reforming the financial sector as part of its larger strategic objective of strengthening Pakistan’s economy.”

“We look forward to the on-site visit and a successful and early culmination of the process leading to Pakistan’s exit from the grey list,” he continued.

Pakistan managed to avoid being placed on the FATF’s “black list” of countries in the last four years. Its officials believe that exiting the grey list will help increase foreign inflows, specifically direct investment, to Pakistan.

“I am certain that this good news from FATF will restore confidence in Pakistan’s economy and act as a catalyst for sustained growth and development,” the foreign minister added.