ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday rejected claims that Saudi Arabia voted against Pakistan in the assessment of Pakistan’s Financial Action Task Force ‘Action Plan’. 

Responding to media queries regarding role of Saudi Arabia in the assessment of Pakistan’s FATF Action Plan, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri categorically rejected the reports as false and baseless.

“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. Pakistan greatly values its relations with the brotherly Saudi Arabia and firmly rejects such malicious propaganda,” he said.

FATF, he said, “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 plenary meeting of the FATF is ongoing in Paris to decide the fate of Pakistan pertaining to its exclusion from the forum’s grey list.

There are no chances that Pakistan would be included in the blacklist of the FATF. However, there are chances of Pakistan getting out of the FATF grey list in the first quarter of 2021. The FATF preliminary meeting would continue today (October 23).

Pakistan has implemented upon major action points recommended by the FATF besides carrying out legislations for 16 times on money-laundering related issues.

Pakistan expects to come off the global forum’s grey list in the next plenary meeting in June next year and also expected get an insight visit in February.

During the insight visit, the experts will review the progress on the implementation of action points during their visit to Pakistan.

In October, the Asia-Pacific Group, a regional affiliate of the FATF on money-laundering and terror financing, had decided to keep the country on its “Enhanced Follow-Up” list. The APG retained the country on the Enhanced Follow-UP list on recommendations of the Paris-based FATF.