Rehamn Malik urges FATF president to remove Pakistan’s name from Grey List permanently july 09, 2020

Rehamn Malik urges FATF president to remove Pakistan’s name from Grey List permanently july 09, 2020

ISLAMABAD-Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Senator Rehman Malik Thursday urged Financial Action Task Force (FATF) President Marshall Billingslea to permanently remove the name of Pakistan from the "Grey List" or extend further grace period of one year in wake of coronavirus outbreak to enable the country to exercise full potential against the pandemic.

In a letter written to the FATF president, he also thanked for giving a relief of five months grace period to Pakistan for submission of response on the FATF observations.

Rehman Malik also drew the president's attention towards his earlier letter on February 14, 2019 and to its response on February 18, 2020 in which he had urged for action against Indian Prime Minister Modi for his role in money laundering but discriminatory treatment being meted out to Pakistan.

In his letter, he said, “I would like to refer earlier letter on the above subject, dated March 21, 2020, whilst COVID-19 had begun to inflict its horrible effects upon the world and had requested you to remove the name of Pakistan from the Grey List of FATF.”

He added that money laundering was a trans-international crime and hence only Pakistan could not be blamed whereas India despite of international reports had not been reprimanded for their crimes against FATF and UN Charters.

“Pakistan has fought the 'War on Terror’ at front line as an ally of the USA and UNO and our country has suffered heavily in terms of economy and loss of human life. Being an ally Pakistan has the right to expose the countries or state-actors, who have tried to undermine the struggle against terror by indulging in money laundering in pursuit of their hidden agendas across the globe,” reads his letter.

Malik while highlighting the numerous sacrifices of Pakistan wrote to FATF president that Pakistan had suffered heavily by COVID-19 and there were more than 238,000 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases and 5,000 deaths so far in Pakistan and according to the research report of United Kingdom Imperial College and World Health Organization Pakistan was likely to touch the peak of COVID-19 patients in the months of July and August, 2020, with a gloomy forecast that approximately, 2.5 million people would die of COVID-19. Our present statistics revealed the trend of patients to surpass that of Spain and Italy, in comparison, he added.

He said the government of Pakistan had conscientiously taken substantive measures against money laundering and we had improved our legislation as desired by the FATF and UN Charters that had been appreciated and acknowledged, by the international community to be the right steps in the direction for removing Pakistan from the Grey List.

He explained that at present Pakistan Parliament was dysfunctional because of intense wave of coronavirus and hence whatever further measures were required by the FATF to be taken in terms of legislation regarding money laundering would not be possible in the given situation. 

He further explained that like so many other parts of the world, Pakistan was in middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ensuing circumstances had seriously impaired the administrative and legislative functions of the Parliament and had severely disrupted all activity of our country.

“The members of the Parliament of Pakistan and Senate Standing Committee on Interior which oversee most of the required legislation by the FATF, are of firm opinion and consensus that legislative process cannot be

accomplished in prevailing COVID-19 based circumstances,” Rehman Malik said in his letter to Billingslea.

Earlier on March 21, Malik had written a letter to FATF President Marshall Billingslea, pleading him to remove the name of Pakistan from the FATF's Grey List in wake of coronavirus outbreak to enable the country to exercise full potential against the pandemic and the FATF granted five month relief for Pakistan to submit its performance report.