The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday removed Pakistan from its ‘grey list’, acknowledging the country’s progress to fully comply with the plan of action. “The FATF welcomes Pakistan’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime. Pakistan has strengthened the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime and addressed technical deficiencies to meet the commitments of its action plans regarding strategic deficiencies that the FATF identified in June 2018 and June 2021, the latter of which was completed in advance of the deadlines, encompassing 34 action items in total. Pakistan is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process. “Pakistan will continue to work with APG to further improve its AML/CFT system,” a statement issued by the FATF in Paris read. In a statement, the Foreign Office spokesperson said as a result, Pakistan had been taken out of the list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring, with immediate effect. This decision was taken during the FATF Plenary meeting held in Paris, France from 20-21 October 2022. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs/Chairperson National FATF Coordination Committee, Hina Rabbani Khar, led the Pakistan delegation to the FATF Plenary. Pakistan has made enormous progress in the Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) domain over the course of fulfilling the requirements of both action plans. Despite many challenges, including Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan continued the reform trajectory and sustained the high-level political commitment of aligning its domestic AML/CFT regime with international best practices. Achieving FATF targets was a whole-of-nation endeavour. Multiple ministries, departments and agencies, both at the federal and provincial levels, contributed to achieving this national objective. The engagement with FATF has led to strategic improvements in Pakistan’s laws and procedures, making its domestic AML/CFT regime more resilient to cope with current and future challenges. The Spokesperson said Pakistan thanked the FATF members and the international community for providing valuable support during the Action Plan period. “Pakistan reiterates that it will continue building on this mutually beneficial cooperation to sustain the gains. Pakistan also looks forward to sharing its expertise, knowledge and experience with other countries to enhance the effectiveness of FATF standards at the global level,” he added. In September, a 15-member FATF team quietly visited Pakistan, a final step before the country’s exit from the grey list. The findings of the team would be discussed and reviewed in the next meeting of the FATF in its upcoming plenary session. The FATF, in June, had hinted at Pakistan’s removal from the grey list after it concluded that Pakistan complied with the 34-point plan of action and agreed to send its team for the verification of those steps. Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the FATF in June 2018 for deficiencies in its system to curb money laundering and terror financing. It was first given a 27-point action plan and later another 7-point plan to comply with the FATF’s standards. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while expressing gratitude over Pakistan’s removal from the FATF grey list, said the decision was the vindication of the country’s determined and sustained efforts, and sacrifices against terrorism. The prime minister, in a statement issued after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced Pakistan’s removal from its grey list, congratulated the nation over the revival of the country’s credibility and dignity internationally. “Thanks to Allah Almighty as Pakistan got the delieverance from the FATF grey list. I bow before the Allah Almighty over the honor earned by Pakistan,” he said. Calling it a recognition of Pakistan’s huge sacrifices against terrorism, the prime minister also thanked the FATF countries who accepted Pakistan’s viewpoint on the platform of the terror-financing watchdog. He also congratulated Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the foreign ministry, armed forces, the Director General of Military Operations, and all relevant ministries and departments. He also thanked Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa for playing a key role in the process.