The Indian media as well its Ministry of External Affairs have been falsely claiming that the June 24 plenary meeting of FATF decided to keep Pakistan on the grey list due to the country’s failure in becoming compliant to the body’s recommendations. As clarified by Pakistan’s Foreign Office, the fact is that Pakistan was not even on the agenda. The review process has been halted for at least four months due to the COVID-19 situation, and the body has simply maintained status quo, which does not speak to Pakistan’s performance one way or the other. Indian propaganda reveals desperation in New Delhi, which has been on a mission to vilify Pakistan internationally while seeking to score political points with its domestic audience through incessant lying and misreporting.

During the last review meeting, FATF in fact acknowledged that Pakistan had indeed made progress on several fronts. Pakistan’s report highlighted the several measures it had taken, which included money laundering investigations, proscribing organisations, registration of terror-financing cases and convictions, amending money laundering laws, seizures and confiscations of properties and assets as well as booking thousands of individuals under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Since the last review, more progress has been made, evidence of which would be made available at the right forum.

Since India joined FATF in 2011, it has been pushing to put Pakistan on the black list. Pakistan’s addition to the grey list has plenty to do with the geopolitics in the South Asia and Asia Pacific region. India is now viewed as a strategic partner by the US while Pakistan’s involvement in CPEC with China has irked Washington; something its most senior officials have articulated on several occasions. Therefore, the sword of Damocles hangs over Pakistan’s head, but the country should remain resolved to defend its national interests. It should continue making efforts to comply with FATF recommendations to weaken the case of its foes, but it should not lose sight of the fact that the issue will ultimately be resolved on the political front where it belongs.