By Sajjad Hussain
Islamabad, Jun 26 (PTI) Pakistan on Friday rejected as "fabricated news" the reports in the media about its continuation on the FATF's Grey List, saying no "new decision" was taken about it at the virtual plenary of the global terror financing watchdog.
The Foreign Office was responding to reports in the media that the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided in its final plenary on Wednesday to keep Pakistan on the Grey List as it had failed to check flow of money to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday that Pakistan's continuation on the Grey List of the FATF vindicated India's position that the country had not taken any appropriate action against terror networks operating from its soil.
Reacting to MEA's remarks, the Pakistan Foreign Office said the Indian official
was responding to the "fabricated news reports in the Indian media".
It said in a statement that Pakistan was prepared to present its progress report to the FATF in the plenary meeting scheduled for this month.
However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the FATF decided on April 28 a general pause for four months in the review process for a number of countries, including Pakistan, under the ICRG (International Cooperation Review Group) assessment, the statement said.
The agenda of the FATF's virtual plenary meeting, held on June 24, did not include Pakistan, the Foreign Office (FO) said.
"In this virtual plenary meeting, no new decision regarding Pakistan was made," it said.
The decisions taken by the FATF in the February 2020 plenary meeting regarding a number of countries including Pakistan remain in effect and the evaluation of Pakistan's FATF Action Plan would be made in the next plenary cycle of FATF, in which Pakistan would present its progress report, the FO said.
Reports in the Indian media insinuating that the FATF has put Pakistan on the Grey List are "patently misleading" and part of the incessant "smear campaign" by India against Pakistan, it said.
Pakistan repeatedly drew the attention of the international community towards India's "sinister" attempts to use the FATF process for its narrow political gains, the FO said.
"Pakistan has also been raising the issue of India's dubious credentials as an impartial and objective assessor of Pakistan's progress on the FATF Action Plan," it said.
India's efforts to "misuse" the technical forum of FATF for discrediting Pakistan have been noticed by FATF members and are not appreciated by the international community, the Foreign Office said.
"We hope that the FATF membership would take cognisance of India's malicious campaign against Pakistan and reject any attempt at politicising the FATF proceedings," it said, adding that Pakistan was committed to completing its FATF Action Plan and making progress.
The Foreign Office also said that Pakistan completely rejects the MEA spokesperson's terrorism-related allegations against Pakistan.
Paris-based FATF put Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and the country agreed to work on an action plan to fulfill its obligation by October 2019. Later, this date was extended until February 2020. PTI SH MRJ AKJ MRJ