PM felicitates COAS as Pakistan nears FATF grey list exit

This handout photograph taken on April 19, 2022, and released by the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office shows Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (right) speaking with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan completed the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) action plans and inched closer to exiting the grey list, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Saturday congratulated Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The anti-money laundering watchdog announced Friday that Pakistan has “substantially completed its two action plans” — of the total 34 items on the list — and would be removed from the grey list after it passes the on-site visit.

During a telephonic conversation, the prime minister appreciated the “core cell” established in the General Headquarters (GHQ) for its efforts in the completion of the anti-money laundering watchdog’s item list.

“I applaud the civil and military leadership that worked with the core cell,” the prime minister said.

In its statement released after the four-day plenary in Berlin, the watchdog acknowledged that the necessary political commitment remains in place to sustain implementation and improvement in the future.

The army chief, a day earlier, had termed the FATF’s announcement a “great achievement” for Pakistan.

“Completion of FATF AML/CFT (anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism) action plans by Pakistan is a great achievement,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement, quoting the army chief.

Meanwhile, in separate telephonic conversations, the prime minister also appreciated Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail for their efforts in this regard.

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