Indian media outlets on Friday started reporting, albeit without any source that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s Asia Pacific Group (APG) has blacklisted Pakistan. The decision, Indian media said, was taken after Pakistan could not convince the global watchdog regarding its measures on choking money laundering and terror financing.
It all transpired while a top Pakistani delegation led by Governor State Bank, Reza Baqir was in meeting with FATF’s Asia Pacific Group (APG) at Canberra, Australia where it presented its third Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) on its measures for countering money laundering and terror financing.
Indian news channel, Times Now while ‘breaking’ the news said that Pakistan had failed to deliver on 10 of its 11 commitments on countering money laundering and terror financing.
— EconomicTimes (@EconomicTimes) August 23, 2019
— NDTV (@ndtv) August 23, 2019
— NEWS9 (@NEWS9TWEETS) August 23, 2019
The country’s print media also followed.
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) August 23, 2019
Just in: FATF’s Asia Pacific Group puts Pakistan in ‘enhanced blacklist’ for failure to meet global standards, says Indian officials. They add that FATF finds Pakistan non-compliant on 32 of 40 compliance parameters on money laundering and terror financing. – PTI #Pakistan
— The Hindu (@the_hindu) August 23, 2019
— Times of India (@timesofindia) August 23, 2019
Pakistani authorities took a while to respond and the delay gave way to fears that the news might be true. However, the Finance Ministry did issue a clarification quashing the rumors.
Ministry of Finance – Press Release pic.twitter.com/pY0fArqowk
— PTV News (@PTVNewsOfficial) August 23, 2019
Soon after, FATF spokesperson Alexandra Wijmenga while speaking to Geo News rejected the rumors, saying, only the FATF had the authority to blacklist, not its regional affiliate APG.
The Asia Pacific Group of FATF finally put the rumors to rest by releasing a statement following conclusion of its review meeting, which did not mention Pakistan or any other country’s placement on the blacklist.
Pakistan’s final review is set to take place in Oct 2019 meeting, where it will be decided whether Pakistan stays or exists the global watchdog’s monitoring list.
The Indian media campaign however proved that truth is indeed the first casualty of war and this time a cold war that has intensified post the article 370 revocation by India.