UK removes Pakistan from ‘high risk third countries’ list

Staff Writer

Islamabad: In recognition of Islamabad’s progress to improve money laundering and terrorist financing controls, the United Kingdom (UK) this week removed Pakistan from ‘High Risk Third Countries’ list.

Taking to Twitter, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari shared a letter of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, revealing that the UK had removed Pakistan from its list of high risk countries.

“His Majesty’s Treasury issued an amendment to the UK’s High-Risk Third Countries’ list ON November 14, 2022, through a Statuary Instrument. The amendment removes Pakistan from the list in accordance with the decision taken by the FATF on October 21, 2022,” the official document read.

The letter further stated: “The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office recognizes the progress Pakistan has made to improve money laundering and terrorist financing controls.”

The development came a month after Financial Action Task Force (FATF) removed Pakistan from its grey list, appreciating the country’s efforts in anti-money-laundering and anti-terror financing.

The Financial Action Task Force has decided by consensus that Pakistan has completed all substantial, technical and procedural requirements of both the 2018 and 2021 Action Plans.

This decision was taken during the FATF Plenary meeting held in Paris, France from 20-21 October 2022. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs/Chairperson National FATF Coordination Committee, Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, led the Pakistan delegation to the FATF Plenary.

In April 2021, the UK added Pakistan to the list of 21 high-risk countries with unsatisfactory money laundering and terrorist financing controls.

This list of 21 countries — released by the UK Government — replicated the list of countries named by the FATF as high-risk or under increased monitoring. Pakistan shared the list at number 15 with conflict-ridden countries such as Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.