FPCCI praises leadership for bringing Pakistan out of grey list

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ISLAMABAD
Former Vice President of FPCCI Atif Ikram Sheikh on Sunday lauded the national leadership for bringing Pakistan out of the FATF grey list after four-and-a-half years.
The victory proves that country can overcome almost all the challenges if leadership unites to achieve a common goal, he said. The decision comes at a time when Pakistan’s credibility on the global market has taken a pounding because of its precarious economic situation, he added.
Talking to the business community, Atif Ikram Sheikh said that after placing Pakistan on the grey list in 2018, FATF gave Pakistan a 27-point action agenda, which was later increased to 34-points, related to money laundering, terrorist financing, and action against armed groups and individuals.
Being on the list severely restricted Pakistan’s international borrowing capabilities as it had to face higher transaction costs due to the higher processing burden that ‘enhanced monitoring’ imposed on all transactions with the outside world.
A neighbouring country continued to conspire to keep Pakistan on the grey list and friendly country China thwarted her recent move for which the business community is thankful.
FATF’s conditions were met despite many disadvantages and resistance from the hostile nations having influence in the watchdog which has now verified Pakistan’s progress on reforming the anti-money laundering regime as well as the measures are taken to block terrorism financing, he added.
The business leader said that Pakistan was placed on the FATF’s enhanced monitoring list which was widely resented but it has also done well for the country as authorities worked together to overhaul the regulation of the domestic financial system to enhance monitoring.
These efforts have not only satisfied the FATF but it has also made it much more difficult to use the system to launder black funds or move them around. Authorities should continue strengthening our financial system by plugging remaining gaps and making sure no vulnerabilities are remaining that may be exploited.
Pakistan would never have ended up on the FATF grey list had our regulatory agencies acted more responsibly and proactively in the past.
Grey-listing scares investors and lenders, hurts exports and creates a barrier for the global financial system from participating freely in the country therefore authorities should ensure that we are not exposed to those risks again, he demanded.
Pakistan is at a difficult juncture in its history and all the weak sports, if any, must be covered without any delay.