Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Saturday said the Financial Action Task Force’s consensus decision to keep Pakistan on the watchdog’s ‘grey list’ for another four months was a “diplomatic victory” for the government.
“FATF has acknowledged our high-level political commitment and significant progress,” the minister said in a tweet.
He said some circles were propagating “false and baseless information about abstention or negative voting in the meeting”.
Some social media posts had claimed on Friday that a few countries including Afghanistan and India voted against Pakistan at the watchdog’s plenary and that some other countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates abstained from the vote.
The minister clarified that no voting criteria was applied for the FATF decision, saying: “Yesterday’s consensus decision without any voting is our diplomatic victory.” Azhar said some countries mentioned in the “fake news” were not even members of the FATF. “Pakistan enjoys broad international support and cooperation on FATF,” he added.
Earlier this week, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri had rejected “false media reports” regarding Saudi Arabia’s role in the assessment of Pakistan’s FATF action plan, saying the two countries “enjoy strong fraternal ties”.
The next plenary is due on Feb 21-26.
Pakistan welcomed the outcome, saying “this is indicative of the confidence of the FATF on the efforts of Pakistani government”.