All eyes are on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary conference, which ends today (Friday), with Pakistan hoping to secure a ‘onsite visit’ that could help Islamabad come off the grey list.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar warned against making assumptions about the outcome of the FATF conference on Friday.
The minister indicated on Twitter that the plenary meetings are underway and that the FATF will publish a public statement when the discussions conclude tonight.
She went on to say that the government has scheduled a media briefing for Saturday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“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.
The #FATF Plenary Meetings r 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.
GOP has arranged a media briefing at MOFA on Saturday morning on this issue
— Hina R Khar (@HinaRKhar) June 17, 2022
Earlier, a senior official told the BBC that recent reports on the plenary meeting reveal promising signals of a favourable verdict for Pakistan.
Other countries’ permission and consolation in the conference, he said, is equally crucial.
He did say, however, that even if Pakistan is removed from the watch list, the FATF team will return Pakistan for an inspection, which will take seven to eight months to complete.
According to sources, the FATF required Pakistan to meet 34 conditions in two stages, which it did. In the previous FATF meeting, the country met 32 of the 34 conditions, while the remaining two were met in this meeting.
According to them, the final decision could be postponed until the next FATF meeting in Paris in October.
Pakistan had embarked on a huge diplomatic campaign to remove itself from the FATF’s grey list. The Pakistan delegation is being led by Khar, who is also the chair of Pakistan’s National FATF Coordination Committee, at the plenary conference, which began on June 14.
Pakistan requires the votes of Turkey, China, and Malaysia to be removed from the list, and all three nations have pledged their complete support to Pakistani authorities. As a result, there are currently strong prospects that Pakistan will be removed from the FATF’s grey list following the current meeting in Berlin, Germany.
Germany, the United States, and other countries have shown some support for Pakistan’s request to be removed from the FATF’s grey list.
According to sources, substantial discussions about FATF took place during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar’s recent travels to several nations. Important countries expressed a mild attitude toward Pakistan at all of these summits.
Except for the fines, Pakistan has executed practically all elements of the FATF Action Plan, including prosecutions and other related legislation revisions.
In June 2018, Pakistan was added to the FATF’s list of countries under enhanced scrutiny.