BUSINESS

Standards prescribed by FATF are vital to achieve: Mian Zahid Hussain

Karachi: President Pakistan Businessmen and wad Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) does not provide any financial services itself but World’s leading financial institution consider its recommendations while extending financial support to any country, therefore, its report about any country can cause fame or shame worldwide. According to Basel University’s anti money laundering index Pakistan’s ranking is 46. Other countries including Tajikistan, Mali, Kenya and Panama despite weaker ranking are not included in the grey list which indicates that Pakistan’s inclusion in the grey list are more of political nature than economic and the reason behind is improving Pak-China friendship.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that the FATF team has recently visited Pakistan for 12 days to review the status of implementation of its 27 recommendations to curb money-laundering and terror financing. The team met with all relevant departments and the Finance Minister Asad Umer and will compile its report this week. The FATF team is supposed to meet Pakistani departments again in April 2019 and will present its final report in its annual meeting to be held in July 2019, where Pakistan’s grey listing / black listing would be confirmed.

The former minister said that to get excluded from the grey list, meeting FATF’s standards are highly important. Though Pakistan will need to take strict measures but they will ultimately help us resolve our financial issues including money-laundering and terror financing.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that U. S. and the western World should realize Pakistan’s sacrifices against terrorism being the frontline ally of the United States. According to World’s terrorism index Pakistan is top 5th Country, most affected from the terrorism where 80 thousand innocent people laid their lives, suffered with economic losses of $ 100 billion and faced displacement of millions of people. The brave Pakistani nation and Armed forces have collectively curbed the terrorism in the Country, which has got worldwide acknowledgement. On the other hand, US has used the FATF to get Pakistan included in grey list to put more pressure on the Country and compel it to do more, given to the ongoing CPEC project in the Country which after completion will get Pakistan on new tracks of economic stability and development, he added.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that if Pakistan’s failure to achieve the set standards of FATF may lead to inclusion in the blacklist like Iran and North Korea which is a threat to Pakistan’s weaker economy and will adversely affect the Banking channel of the Country in addition to exports, imports and foreign borrowings. Though Pakistan has successfully compete with more worsen situation than that might faced after blacklisting back in 1998 after the atomic explosions but the Government should take every possible and appropriate measure to avoid FATF’s blacklisting.