Do more mantra by FATF


REGARDLESS of all its efforts, India failed to get Pakistan blacklisted in the FATF. In this context, the retention in the grey list may be considered a success of Pakistani government but the do more mantra repeated by the Financial Action Task Force should be a matter of worry for us. It means the country is still not out of the woods.
While giving a four-month lifeline, the global watchdog warned Pakistan of action in case significant and sustainable progress is not made across the full range of action plan by the next plenary scheduled for February 2020. Thus the Sword of Damocles is still hanging over Pakistan regardless of the positive progress it has achieved on majority of points. The fact of the matter is that Pakistan has made substantial progress towards improving its anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism regime. This is something that has also been conceded by the FATF. However, according to experts what needs to be done is to take definite action against some known terrorist networks. Whilst steps like freezing of their accounts and seizing properties have been taken, we are confident that the government will take other requisite steps with the coordination of all the relevant institutions in order to avoid the blacklisting as it will have disastrous consequences for the country’s economy and also affect Pakistan’s $6-billion loan program. Then on the diplomatic front, our Foreign Office should remain active to apprise the world community of its progress towards the implementation of FATF’s action plan. And most importantly, it is also important that bodies like FATF are not used as political tools by some to advance their geopolitical goals or achieve foreign policy objectives. Doing so will only undermine the integrity of this world body. The nefarious intentions of India are not a secret but everybody knows its animosity towards Pakistan and this is the reason that it blatantly abused its position in Asia-Pacific Group to get Pakistan blacklisted. Then, our action plan, as also pointed out by Minister for Economic Affairs Division Hamad Azhar in a tweet, is the most ambitious and challenging one ever handed out to any country. We are forced to question as to why so much tough only on Pakistan when it has already done a lot compared with any other country in the war on terrorism. At the global level, there should not be double standards or separate yardsticks on such sensitive matters. Whilst India has been given free hand to perpetrate terrorism against innocent and armless Kashmiris whilst the country which is striving to meet the FATF action plan is being arm twisted.