The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, is expected to announce whether Pakistan will be removed from or retained on its increased monitoring list, also known as the “grey list,” today (Friday), but the government is optimistic that the decision will be in Pakistan’s favour.
On Tuesday, the four-day plenary session in Berlin, Germany, started. According to the FATF’s website, authorities will conduct a news conference at 7:30 p.m. today to discuss the results of the meeting.
The plenary session is being attended by delegates from 206 FATF members and observers. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units are among the observers.
According to information available at the time, a government spokesman informed BBC Urdu that the verdict was likely to be in Pakistan’s favour. He did clarify, though, that even if the nation was taken off the list, “settling affairs” would take seven to eight months.
A FATF delegation will visit Pakistan if it was removed off the list, the spokeswoman claimed, to “satisfy itself that action on its recommendations has been done.”
According to diplomatic sources, China and several other allies are secretly trying to remove Pakistan off the grey list as soon as possible after the last plenary session.
Recent foreign media reports have also cited China’s “silent lobbying,” with one Indian news source reporting that the plenary session “is expected to opt to remove Pakistan off the list of nations under heightened scrutiny, often known as the grey list.”
Several politicians and journalists, largely from the PTI, announced today on social media that Pakistan has been removed off the FATF’s grey list. Prejudicing the result and speculative reporting should be avoided, according to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, who is heading Pakistan’s team in Berlin.
She said that the plenary discussions were still going on and that the FATF will publish a statement when they were finished tonight.
She also said that a news conference on the subject will be conducted at the foreign ministry on Saturday (tomorrow).
Marriyum Aurangzeb, the Minister of Information, also called for a halt to speculation about the conclusion of the plenary session, calling it “wrong.”