Pakistan government denies news reports on Saudi vote at FATF

A senior journalist had reported that Saudi Arabia cast its vote against Pakistan

Foreign Office has categorically denied some media reports suggesting that Saudi Arabia voted against Pakistan in its bid to move off the FATF’s grey list. FO’s spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri rejected “false media reports” regarding Saudi Arabia’s role in the assessment of Pakistan’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan.

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

An official twitter handle of the Government of Pakistan also denied any such event and said that the two countries maintained cordial relations.

How the rumor spread

The news spread online after senior journalist Sabir Shakir said that Saudi Arabia had cast its vote against Pakistan and lobbied for other Muslim countries to do the same. It is unusual for someone in a senior position to pass on unverified news to the masses. The rumor really spread like wildfire over the various social media platforms.

Pakistan complaint with suggested changes

The last assessment took place in February 2020 and Pakistan was found complaint on 14 out of the 27 points on the action plan. The government has since taken measures to ensure that overall compliance with the plan is achieved. Pakistan has a very strong case to be moved on to the white list after the current assessment.

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