Pakistan dismisses rumors about Saudi Arabia’s FATF-voting issue

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Islamabad – Pakistan’s Government on Thursday dismissed the rumors about Saudi Arabia’s vote against Pakistan in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issue, according to an official tweet by the government.

“Rejection of false media report on FATF. Responding to media queries regarding role of Saudi Arabia in assessment of Pakistan’s FATF Action Plan, the Spokesperson categorically rejected the story circulating on segment of the media as false and baseless”, Government of Pakistan tweeted.

“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”, it added. “Pakistan greatly values its relations with the brotherly Saudi Arabia and firmly rejects such malicious propaganda. FATF will announce its assessment of Pakistan’s progress on the Action Plan and the future course of action after conclusion of its Plenary Meeting”.

The fake news went viral in Pakistan on Thursday morning when a senior journalist Sabir Shakir wrote that, “Saudi Arabia vote against Pakistan in FATF”. Soon after the news broke out, Pakistani expatriates and citizens resorted to social media to express the disagreement.

Pakistan’s political analysts and commentators saw the malicious propaganda as an attempt to strain the decades-long friendship and to damage the long-lasting relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

FATF is an intergovernmental organization based in France, it was founded in 1989 to develop policies and procedures to counter money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats that can potentially damage international financial system.

Pakistan was placed on the FATF grey list in June 2018. While in February 2020, FATF granted a grace period of four months to Pakistan to complete its 27-point action plan against money laundering and terrorist financing.

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