The FATF board in its recent meeting decided to keep Pakistan in the grey list. The board that deliberated Pakistan for three consecutive days reached a conclusion that there are still certain grey areas in Pakistan’s economy that need to be addressed seriously. The meeting especially mentioned the transactions made in the real estate sector. According to the meeting the real estate sector had been an easy source of money laundering in recent years, therefore the Pakistan government was asked to plug this loophole.

The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin said in his recent statement  that Pakistan would exit from the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) this year as it has already achieved almost all targets set by the task force.“We have completed 26 conditions out of 27 of the action plan,” the minister said adding the FATF was politically motivated.

In a statement, the FATF said that Pakistan completed 26 of the 27 action items in its 2018 action plan. It encouraged Pakistan to continue to make progress to address the one remaining item as soon as possible.  It further added that since June 2021, Pakistan has taken swift steps towards improving its AML/CFT regime and completed six of the seven action items ahead of any relevant deadlines expiring.

“Pakistan should continue to work to address the one remaining item in its 2021 action plan by demonstrating a positive and sustained trend of pursuing complex money laundering investigations and prosecutions,” the statement said.

The economic analysts believe that Pakistan was already in the grey list since 2018, so there was no major impact expected on business and markets in near term. Pakistan’s performance has been impressive while complying with FATF parameters and it is also acknowledged by the FATF. Pakistan should have been excluded from the grey list amid considering its significant progress on improving its financial system and check terror financing.

Pakistan presented its case in an effective manner and also reaffirmed its political commitment to continue with the efforts to complete the action plans. The FATF reviewed Pakistan’s progress on both action plans in its plenary meeting. The economic team needs to work zealously in order to fulfill the last two demands as well. Getting out of the grey list must be the top most priority of the government. It would improve the credentials of the Pakistan economy.