Islamabad: Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance on Friday rejected media reports claiming that Pakistan was blacklisted by the Asia-Pacific Group (APG), the regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The ministry in a statement said that media reports being circulated about Pakistan being blacklisted were “incorrect and baseless”. The officials told Gulf News that the reports mainly originated from Indian media and did not name any source.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, speaking to a local TV channel Geo News, also rebuffed the reports. “FATF has not placed Pakistan on the blacklist,” he said urging the international community “to take notice of Indian propaganda and fake news”.
Meanwhile, the officials have also clarified that the Asia-Pacific Group on money laundering and FATF should not be confused. “The FATF is an observer in the APG, while the APG is an associate member of the FATF,” according to the information on official APG website. Besides, “only the FATF had the authority to blacklist, not its regional affiliate APG,” FATF spokesperson Alexandra Wijmenga-Daniel was quoted as saying by Geo News. According to the spokesperson, the FATF will hold its meeting on October 14-18 in Paris and any decision would be published later on.
In its annual meeting in Australia, “APG adopted Pakistan’s 3rd Mutual Evaluation Report and has put Pakistan in its enhanced follow-up as per APG’s Third Round Mutual Evaluation Procedures”, Pakistan Finance Ministry clarified in a statement. In line with APG’s Third Round Mutual Evaluation Procedures, “Pakistan would be required to submit follow-up progress reports to APG on quarterly basis.”
According to a statement issued by the APG, the body’s annual meeting and technical assistance forum were held this week from August 18 till August 23 in Canberra, Australia. The APG members adopted six significant mutual evaluation reports for Pakistan, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands. The statement, however, did not mention Pakistan or any other country’s placement on the blacklist.