Reports had suggested that the USA was considering tough sanctions on Pakistan, through the matter was not specifically mentioned on FATF website. The US State Department spokesperson had confirmed these reports at a press confirmation held on February 15 and said that those deliberations were confidential.
Financial action task force is an intergovernmental organisation that is active in monitoring money laundering, terror financing and any other threat to the global financial system. It is meeting to take decisions at Paris between February 18 and 23. The FATF’s decision-making body, the FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.
Day 1 of the FATF Plenary meeting underway. Delegates are working through a full agenda that includes #terroristfinancing and Iceland’s mutual evaluation. https://t.co/v9tPjCp3z9#FATFWeekpic.twitter.com/WvtO9y3np4
— FATF (@FATFNews) February 21, 2018
As it turns out, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister prematurely claimed that sanctions had been warded off due lack of consensus. This claim was widely reported in Pakistan media in a celebratory mood. Some journalists in India quoted Pak FM’s tweet and circulated the claim.
Our efforts paid,FATF Paris 20Feb meeting conclusion on US led motion to put Pakistan on watch list
-No consensus for nominating Pakistan
-proposing 3months pause &asking APG for another report to b considered in June الحمداللہ
Grateful to friends who helped
— Khawaja M. Asif (@KhawajaMAsif) February 20, 2018
Journalists in India and Pakistan echoed his claim saying that Pakistan had escaped ‘greylist’.
One of the foreign policy journalists in India, Suhasini Haider corrected her earlier Tweets on the same day.
Meanwhile, FATF spokesperson Alexandra Wijmenga-Daniel denied the reports of a ‘reprieve’ for Pakistan at FATF. She told Hindustan Times that the outcomes of the plenary session would be published on Friday.
However, some anti – BJP figures are still claiming that it is a diplomatic loss for India. Manish Tewari, the Congress spokesperson went on to criticise the BJP for its diplomatic loss at FATF based on false reports. He also claimed that China, Turkey and Russia had bailed out Pakistan. A similar claim was made by another journalist Mihir Sharma.
It is thus telling that while talks of the sanction had been confirmed, without any confirmation the Indian journalists were quick to echo the unconfirmed, baseless and motivated news reports from Pakistan’s Foreign Minister. It is tragic that Congress was willing to accept on face value, reports placed by Pakistan’s FM, that not only went against the interests of India, but also used it to show the Prime Minister down. In their political hate, it would serve the Congress party well if they didn’t so willingly fall for the propaganda warfare unleashed by Pakistan