Friday Jun 17, 2022
All eyes are on the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) plenary meeting concluding today (Friday), with Pakistan having high hopes to secure an 'onsite visit' which may lead Islamabad a step closer to getting out of the grey list.
The announcement of the meeting's outcome is expected after 8pm following a delay.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar Friday advised against prejudging and speculative reporting on the FATF meeting's outcome.
Taking to Twitter, the minister said that the plenary meetings are underway and the FATF will issue a public statement after concluding the meetings tonight.
She further stated that the government has arranged a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday.
"The FATF Plenary Meetings are continuing in Berlin. FATF will issue a Public Statement after conclusion of the meetings tonight. Prejudging the outcome or speculative reporting could and should be avoided. Government of Pakistan has arranged a media briefing at MOFA on Saturday morning on this issue," Khar wrote.
Earlier, a government official said in a conversation with the BBC that the recent updates on the plenary meeting show good signs of a decision in Pakistan's favour.
He said that the consent and consolation of other countries in the meeting is also significant.
However, he said that matters will take seven to eight months to settle even if Pakistan makes its way out of the watch list as the FATF team will visit Pakistan for an inspection.
Sources said that the FATF had directed Pakistan to fulfil 34 conditions in two stages, which Pakistan accomplished. The country fulfilled 32 out of 34 conditions in the last FATF meeting and completed the remaining two in this meeting.
They said that the final decision could be delayed till the next FATF meeting scheduled to take place in Paris in October.
Pakistan had launched a massive diplomatic effort to get off the FATF grey list. Khar, who is also the chair of Pakistan’s National FATF Coordination Committee, is leading the Pakistan delegation at the plenary meeting that started on June 14.
Pakistan needs the votes of Turkey, China, and Malaysia to get off the list, and all three countries have assured the Pakistani authorities of full support. That's why there are now bright chances that Pakistan may finally exit the FATF grey list after its current meeting being held in Berlin, Germany.
Germany, the US, and other countries have also expressed partial support for Pakistan’s demand for exclusion from the FATF grey list.
According to sources, during the recent visits of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar to different countries, important discussions took place regarding FATF. In all these meetings, a soft attitude towards Pakistan was expressed by important countries.
Pakistan has implemented almost all points of the FATF Action Plan, except for the penalties, and Pakistan has made prosecutions and all relevant legal amendments.
Pakistan was placed on the FATF list of countries under increased monitoring in June, 2018.