Coercing Pakistan through FATF


Dr Muhammad Khan
THE week-long plenary session of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ended on 21 February 2020 in Paris with a decision not to remove Pakistan from its grey list. The concluding statement of the FATF about Pakistan was quite prejudiced, politically motivated and coercive in nature. The statement said, “FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by June 2020. Otherwise, [if] significant and sustainable progress especially in prosecuting and penalising TF (terror financing) not made by the next plenary, the FATF will take action.” An analytical overview of the statement clearly leads towards a direct threat to Pakistan, if it does not comply with the wish list of those states who manipulated Pakistan’s entry into FATF grey list in 2018. It is to be noted that, Pakistan was placed in the grey list of FATF once India initiated a move against Pakistan which was supported by United States and Britain in June 2018. It was a well-orchestrated planning against Pakistan for coercing it for not submitting to the demands put-forward by Washington and New Delhi. The funny excuses taken by the planners while forcing FATF to place Pakistan in the grey list included that, there were ‘strategic deficiencies’ in its Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes. The unholy nexus of Washington and New Delhi later included Britain, some European state and even Middle Eastern states to support this biased decision of FATF.
Initially starting from few demands, this exploiting inter-governmental structure put forth 27-points for implementation in one year. The Financial Action Task Force (Grouped’actionfinancière) was established in 1989 as an intergovernmental organization by G-7 states to develop policies for countering the money laundering. After the incident of 9/11, its scope was expanded to include terror financing with larger political and strategic objectives. After fully knowing that 27-points action plan of FATF is discriminatory in nature and coercive in its objectivity, Pakistan made all-out efforts to implement them in last one year. In the implementation phase of 27-points action plan, the Government had to take some decisions which were quite unpopular and annoyed its masses. Yet FATF found shortcomings in these clearly implemented actions and it has asked for more. The do more statement of the FATF clearly indicates that, it is not the 27-points action plan; it is a demand for the total submission of Pakistan for the attainment of strategic objectives of United States and India. While accounting for the successes of Pakistan towards defeating the terrorism as a global threat, no country can match the achievements of Pakistan. Rather, the major failures of NATO and US in the field of counter terrorism in and around Afghanistan were later completed, reinforced and mopped-up by Pakistani armed forces. There was a time that 150,000 US and NATO forces were completely bogged-down in the marshy-trap of Taliban. Even the drawdown of this huge military outfit of NATO and US from Afghanistan from 2013-2015 was made possible by Pakistan Army.
Afghanistan was a failed campaign of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) under US. Following its drawdown in 2014/15, Afghan Taliban emerged as victor and United States had to undertake round of negotiations with them from a position of parity; super power versus Non-state actor. Again Pakistan made it possible for the US to talk to Afghan Taliban at Doha, Qatar and other locations. Through dozens of military operations and country-wide intelligence operations, Pakistani armed forces defeated the terrorist out-fits and their abettors and financers. The TTP and many other terrorist outfits in Pakistan were trained, financed and abated by a spying networks of India and Afghanistan (RAW and NDS). All terrorism in Pakistan was sponsored from Afghan soil through these and many other spying networks. U.S and ISAF did not stop export of terrorism into Pakistan while being in control of Afghan soil and Kabul regime. Whereas Pakistan physically defeated the terrorism, blocked the financial chain of terrorists and brought peace in the region and still being blamed by FATF for the ‘strategic deficiencies’ in its Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regimes. If Pakistan is being grilled by this discriminatory organization for doing good to international community, then what about those states who have been financing the terrorists and acted as abettor of terrorism in other states as their state policies. Recently Mr Jada, a black American revealed many facts related to Indiana based Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and RSS. While revealing the facts in front of a Town Council in New Hampshire against the disenfranchisement of US citizens, he compared KKK with RSS and racial agenda, both having interconnected terrorist agendas. Without active support of CIA, KKK would not have existed or progressed in US.
Similarly RSS is Government sponsored in India with Prime Minister Modi as its active member. RSS is a terrorist outfit, funded by Government of India including its global financing through money laundering. Why US, EU and India are quite over the applicability FATF laws over (Anti-Money laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism) over RSS and like-minded organizations. The disparities and discriminations are clearly noted once Pakistan is asked to amend its laws which are already based on justice and fair play whereas India is encouraged to make discriminatory laws like Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)-2019, which alienate Muslims and promote terrorist outfits like RSS. Is this the global justice and fair play? FATF must reconcile its discriminatory treatment with Pakistan. Keeping Pakistan in its grey list despite accomplishment of needed actions and threatening of dire consequence by FATF is a clear act of coercion and exploitation. The statement of FATF has been taken very seriously by the people of Pakistan and the wider academic community. This is a direct threat to the state’s sovereignty, integrity and independence. Let’s not allow usage of FATF as a vehicle for the coercion of Pakistan which has unparalleled track-record of countering and combating the terrorism.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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