On Thursday China has apparently shown confidence over a likely exit of Pakistan from an alarming danger of inclusion of the country in the list of countries under the tough surveillance of the global financial watchdog. According to the details, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing expressed this view during a meeting with the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Shaikh.
“FATF’s October review will go well for Pakistan,” Jing said.
The PTI government which has completed two years in the office is currently facing a challenge to make the laws related to terror financing and money laundering part of the constitution to come out the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Pakistan got away with extension in the FATF review deadlines a couple of times. The proposed laws are important to get the country off the grey list and save it from any potential downgrade to a list of countries that are facing restricted access to the international financial system.
The FATF placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and placed 27 conditions for review for complying in one year till September last year. Pakistan was so far given three extensions comprising of 3 months each, every time to comply with 27-point action plans.
Out of the 27-point action plan, the FATF has so far declared Pakistan fully compliant on 14 points and now there is a deadline of September/October 2020 for complying on the remaining 13 points to removal from the grey list of the watchdog.
The country was given the first extension by the FATF plenary in last Oct/Nov for complying with its conditions till February. At that time, Pakistan was compliant on five points out of a total of 27 points. Later, Pakistan was provided with a four-month extension up to June after finding it compliant on 14 action points.
China is financing over $60 billion worth of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is an integral part of its road-belt ambition of expanding Chinese businesses globally.
“CPEC is a project that is an inspiration for the rest of the world,” the Chinese envoy said. The ambassador Jing thanked the adviser for his support and expressed the desire to further strengthen the two country’s relationship. The ambassador also appreciated the strategy adopted by the government of Pakistan during the COVID-19 crisis and said that the rest of the world could follow and learn from Pakistan’s experience. The PM’s Advisor on finance Hafeez Shiekh appreciated the commitment with which Jing worked for the progress of the Pakistan-China relationship. He acknowledged the contributions of ambassador Jing and China’s leadership for Pakistan and expressed hope that his predecessor would work on the same lines.