The Ministry of Finance Friday categorically rejected Indian media reports about Pakistan being blacklisted by the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) – the regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The ministry in a press statement clarified that APG in its 22nd Annual Meeting held in Canberra, Australia, from August 18-23, 2019, adopted Pakistan’s 3rd Mutual Evaluation Report and put Pakistan in its enhanced follow-up as per APG’s Third Round Mutual Evaluation Procedures. In line with the APG’s Third Round Mutual Evaluation Procedures, Pakistan will be required to submit follow-up progress reports to APG on quarterly basis. “Media reports, being circulated about Pakistan, being blacklisted by APG are incorrect and baseless,” the ministry said.FATF Communications Management Advisor Alexandra Wijmenga-Daniel, meanwhile, said that the decision to place a country’s name on the blacklist can only be taken by the global watchdog and not its regional affiliates. “At each Plenary meeting, the FATF discusses and updates its two public documents identifying jurisdictions that may pose a risk to the international financial system. The decision to make modifications to these documents (including blacklisting or removal) lies with the FATF Plenary only,” she explained. Finance ministry says in line with APG’s mutual evaluation procedures, Pakistan will be required to submit follow-up progress reports on quarterly basisShe said that the APG, in its plenary meeting in Canberra, ‘assessed the effectiveness of Pakistan’s measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and discussed the findings’. “At the FATF Plenary in October 2019, the FATF will examine Pakistan’s progress on its existing action plan and consider any next steps,” Wijmenga said. Until then, she added, FATF’s statement issued in June this year ‘remains up-to-date’.According to a statement issued by the APG on Friday, the body’s annual meeting and annual technical assistance forum were held this week from August 18 till August 23. The APG members adopted six significant mutual evaluation reports for Pakistan, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands. The statement said that reports were analysed and discussed for two days and will be subject to a post-plenary quality and consistency review before being published in early October. “The APG also adopted a number of follow-up reports for APG members and for joint APG/FATF members and also agreed on revised evaluation procedures for the coming year reflecting recent changes to global procedures,” the statement read.Additionally, the APG members adopted a CFT Operational Plan as part of a global strategy to address the concerns related to terrorist financing. “As part of this plan, the plenary agreed to undertake a typologies and implementation project examining the financing and facilitation of foreign fighters and returnees,” the statement read.