Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday questioned the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) decision to continue to keep Pakistan on the watchdog’s “increased monitoring list”, also known as the grey list, despite implementation on 26 out of 27 points included in the original action plan.
In a statement, Qureshi said there was “no room” to keep Pakistan on the grey list after it had implemented nearly the entire action plan, according to a report by Radio Pakistan.
The foreign minister said it needed to be looked into whether FATF was “being used for political purposes”, adding “some powers desire to keep the sword of FATF hanging over Pakistan.”
It was yet to be determined whether the FATF was a technical forum or a political one, the statement quoted him as saying.
Qureshi said whatever steps Pakistan took were in its own interests, emphasising that it was in Pakistan’s interest to stop money laundering and terror financing.
A day earlier, FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer said Pakistan would remain on the grey list till it addresses the single remaining item on the original action plan agreed to in June 2018 as well as all items on a parallel action plan handed out by the watchdog’s regional partner — the Asia Pacific Group (APG) — in 2019.
“Pakistan has made significant progress and it has largely addressed 26 out of 27 items on the action plan it first committed to in June 2018,” he said at a virtual press conference after the financial watchdog’s five-day plenary meeting.
Pleyer, however, added that the item on financial terrorism still needed to be addressed which concerned the “investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups”.
He said Pakistan was still “failing to effectively implement the global FATF standards” across a number of areas.
When asked about the new action plan after the APG evaluation, Pleyer said the plan had “six action items including enhancing international cooperation and demonstrating that assistance is being sought from foreign countries in implementing UN Security Council designations”.