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Money laundering: Pakistan urges US to get it off FATF grey list

Money laundering: Pakistan urges US to get it off FATF grey list

Pakistan has urged the US to get it off the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which monitors global money laundering and terror financing, it was reported.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said at a news briefing here on Friday night that Pakistan hoped the US would back its efforts to get it off the list at the FATF's Beijing meeting next month, Dawn news said in a report on Sunday.

"This meeting is very important for us as it leads to a plenary meeting in Paris in April where the world body will decide whether Pakistan remains on the list or is taken off," he said.

The FATF has placed Pakistan on a list of countries that have failed to eradicate money laundering and where terrorists can still raise funds for their activities.

If not removed off the list by April, Pakistan may move to a blacklist of countries that face severe economic sanctions, such as Iran.

Qureshi concluded his three-day visit to the US on Friday after a series of meetings with key US lawmakers and officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien. The Minister spent the week touring Iran, Saudi Arabia and the US on a diplomatic mission meant to defuse tensions between Washington and Tehran.

At his news briefing, Qureshi also urged the US to review its travel advisories for Pakistan and encourage investments in the country.

US travel advisories still present Pakistan as a country Americans should avoid travelling because of terrorism threats.

Asked why the FATF's Beijing meeting was important, Qureshi said that decisions taken in China's capital would also impact the Force's Paris plenary, which would decide whether Pakistan stayed in or was taken off the gray list.

The Minister acknowledged that removal from the FATF list could not happen overnight, but said that the US could enhance its engagements with Pakistan while waiting for the removal.

Qureshi noted that in his meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan last year, US President Donald Trump had said that he wanted to see Pakistan off the FATF gray list. "So, we expect US officials to work for it now."