Ishaq Dar hopeful of Pakistan's removal from FATF's grey list soon

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says IMF and World Bank asked government not to provide subsidies

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  • FinMin says purpose of US tour was to attend IMF, WB meetings.
  • IMF and World Bank have asked not to give subsidies, says Dar.
  • US raised concerns due to Khan’s irresponsible statement, he says.

WASHINGTON: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Sunday night hoped that Pakistan will be out of the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) grey list as the watchdog is expected to announce its decision after making an onsite visit earlier last month.

In June, Pakistan completed FATF’s action plans but the watchdog still kept the nation on the grey list as the removal was conditional to an on-site visit.

The watchdog's team conducted its visit in September and according to the Foreign Office, it was "smooth and successful".

In his press conference in Washington, the finance minister said that Pakistan worked hard to exit FATF’s grey list and now a meeting is expected in a few days and the government is hopeful the country will come out of it.

The first FATF Plenary under the two-year Singapore Presidency of T Raja Kumar will take place on October 20-21, while the watchdog will hold a press conference to announce its outcomes on the same day that the meeting ends.

In October 2018, the FATF Asia Pacific Group demanded more action from Pakistan to put an end to money laundering and financial assistance to terrorists.

Following a meeting in Paris in June 2018, the Paris-based organisation formally included Pakistan on its "grey list" of countries with inadequate controls over curbing money laundering and terrorism financing.

The organisation can make recommendations to any of the countries that have signed a membership charter, as well as other nations, but it has no power to impose sanctions.

The US visit

On his visit to the United States, Dar said that the purpose of the tour was to attend International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings and to ensure these financial organisations that Pakistan would continue its economic policies.

The finance minister said that the global lenders have asked him not to give subsidies, while he also maintained that Pakistan will complete all promises made to IMF and World Bank.

Speaking on the financial difficulties Pakistan faces due to the floods, the finance minister said that WB and other international agencies had estimated the losses to be at $32.4 billion.

“In addition, $16 billion has been estimated for a flood rehabilitation programme in the country, while the government is already working on a rehabilitation programme for flood affectees,” he said.

Reason behind Biden's statement

Responding to US President Joe Biden’s statement about Pakistan's nuclear programme, Dar said due to PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s irresponsible statement Washington raised concerns and doubts.

“But Pakistan’s command and control system is in safe and strong hand, it was safe from 2013 till 2018 and it will be,” he added.

The president of the United States had alleged that Pakistan's nuclear programme lacks "cohesion" and that it was among the world's most dangerous nations.

The US president's remarks drew strong criticism from Pakistan, with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemning the statement.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) also handed a "strong" demarche to US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome.