FO spokesperson rejects reports of 'Saudi Arabia's role' in Pakistan's FATF assessment

Published October 22, 2020
Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri on Thursday rejected "false media reports" regarding Saudi Arabia's role in the assessment of Pakistan’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan. — Photo courtesy RadioPak
Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri on Thursday rejected "false media reports" regarding Saudi Arabia's role in the assessment of Pakistan’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan. — Photo courtesy RadioPak

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri on Thursday rejected "false media reports" regarding Saudi Arabia's role in the assessment of Pakistan’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan.

The spokesperson "categorically rejected the story circulating on a segment of the media as false and baseless", said a press release.

Earlier in the day, Azhar Mashwani, Punjab chief minister's focal person for digital media, tweeted that reports of 'Saudi Arabia voting against Pakistan in FATF' was fake news and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would issue a statement on this.

"Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong fraternal ties and the two countries have always cooperated with each other on all matters of bilateral, regional and international importance," said the statement by the spokesperson.

"Pakistan greatly values its relations with the brotherly Saudi Arabia and firmly rejects such malicious propaganda."

A virtual meeting of the FATF, from Oct 21-23, will decide if Pakistan should be excluded from its ‘grey list’, based on a review of Islamabad’s performance to meet global commitments and standards on fight against money laundering and terror financing (ML&TF).

The FATF plenary was earlier scheduled in June but Islamabad got an unexpected breather after the global watchdog against financial crimes temporarily postponed all mutual evaluations and follow-up deadlines in the wake of grave health risk following Covid-19 pandemic. The Paris-based agency also put a general pause in the review process, thus giving additional four months to Pakistan to meet the requirements.

The plenary had formally placed Pakistan in the grey list in June 2018 due to ‘strategic deficiencies’ in its AML/CFT regime after a push from India supported by the US, the UK and some European countries.

The FATF will examine if the country had demonstrated remedial actions and sanctions applied in cases of AML/CFT violations, relating to terrorist financing (TF) risk management and TFS (terror financing sanctions) obligations.

The FATF will also judge if competent authorities were cooperating and taking action to identify and taking enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer services (MVTS) and had proven implementation of cross-border currency and bearer negotiable instruments (BNI) controls at all ports of entry, including applying effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.

Pakistan has also to determine if law enforcement agencies (LEAs) were identifying and investigating the widest range of terror financing activity and that TF investigations and prosecution target designated persons and entities, and those acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities besides showing TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.

Opinion

Sub judice rule
18 Sep 2021

Sub judice rule

It is time this objection, sub judice, is laid to rest.
The Black Caps folly
Updated 18 Sep 2021

The Black Caps folly

There is so much wrong — and worrying — about the entire sorry episode of New Zealand backing out of Pakistan tour.
CT NAP revisited
Updated 18 Sep 2021

CT NAP revisited

A policy of appeasement towards extremists has undermined the state’s writ.
Pathways for reform
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pathways for reform

Even now the government has said they are listening, but they have not said how they are listening.

Editorial

Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...
TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...