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Bilawal reiterates Pakistan’s ‘high-level commitment’ to align economy with global standards

ISLAMABAD: Days after Pakistan received “good news” from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reiterated Pakistan’s “high-level” commitment to continue aligning the country’s anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terror financing (CFT) regime with global standards.

His remarks come after the FATF acknowledged on Friday that Pakistan had met all 34 items on two separate action plans.

The next step entails a visit to the country to verify the implementation and sustainability of the country’s money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures before removing it from its increased monitoring list, also known as the “grey list”.

The watchdog had included Pakistan among its increased monitoring jurisdiction in June 2018.

“The government of Pakistan is committed to continue this positive trajectory of reforming the financial sector as part of its larger strategic objective of strengthening Pakistan’s economy,” the foreign minister said in a statement released by the Foreign Office on Sunday.

“I am certain that this good news from FATF will restore confidence in Pakistan’s economy and act as a catalyst for sustained growth and development.”

The foreign minister reiterated the government’s “high-level commitment to continue aligning our AML/CFT regime with global standards”.

He added that the country was looking forward to the on-site visit and “a successful and early culmination of the process leading to Pakistan’s exit from the grey list”.

Welcoming FATF’s unanimous acknowledgement of completion by Pakistan of its 2018 and 2021 action plans, the minister commended the “hard work and dedicated efforts” of Pakistan’s FATF team that he said led to the successful completion of all technical requirements of both plans.

“This was the result of concerted national efforts and complete harmony of interests by all stakeholders,” he added.

“The announcement by the FATF plenary of granting an on-site visit to Pakistan is a welcome development. It reflects the remarkable progress made by Pakistan to enhance the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime,” he said.

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