FATF is not neutral
THE decision by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to keep Pakistan in the list that needs to put more effort to cope up with the terrorist financing has raised a lot of serious concerns about the global anti money laundering watchdog as many believe that the monitoring force is being used as a geopolitical tool.
Pakistani government has put tremendous effort to curb the terrorist financing, even to bring further improvements they forced banks to implement better protocols and took severe action against multiple militant groups who aimed to create unrest in the country and yet again FATF said that Pakistan will remain on the list of those countries that need to emphasize more on the issue of terror financing.
Whereas on the other end FATF itself acknowledged that Pakistan has complied with 26 of the 27 demand that were mentioned in the action plan which leads to the question that then on what major reasons they have taken the decision when they themselves are also appreciating the efforts of Pakistan and are accepting the fact that we have completed all points mentioned in the action plan except for one, and furthermore to humiliate and ridicule us they have imposed six new conditions which clearly indicates double standards of this organization.
According to FATF own reports only 12 members countries are fully compliant whereas Pakistan is doing far better than 39 member countries then again why they have placed Pakistan on the grey list knowing that this will put the profile of our country on risk as it would become difficult for our government and private sector to raise funds from the international capital markets.
Not only that being placed on the grey list also means that our domestic and multinational banks have to spend more resources on compliance and money laundering staff who further have to be extra vigilant in investigating fraud and terror financing transactions.
The way FATF is dealing with Pakistan is extremely disappointing knowing the fact that Pakistan was always among those countries who themselves have highlighted terror related issues.
Even our government has raised various concerns over the decision of FATF claiming that there was no concrete reason to keep Pakistan on the grey list but unfortunately our enemies like India has lobbied FATF so this was somehow expected and not just India even US is trying to make an exit from Afghanistan for which they require air bases in Pakistan as it is their part of the exit strategy but Prime Minister Imran Khan has categorically refused to grant any concession in this regard so such sort of reaction from FATF can be expected.
But again despite all the pressure and disappointment around, one thing should be made clear that as a nation if we really aim for Pakistan’s growth and progress then we should not bother for such organizations whose working protocols are based on double standards their useless lists are prepared by nothing but bunch of international pressure groups and anti-Pakistan lobbyists who only focus to humiliate and defame Pakistan so receiving further restrictions or negative remarks from such organizations should not be considered demotivating for us rather we should consider it as a source of motivation knowing that we are on the right track and it’s our enemy who is not able to absorb our success same is the scenario we have witnessed in FATF they were not able to absorb Pakistan’s progress so we have witnessed the results that how biased their attitude was which resulted to the fact that FATF is absolutely not neutral.
—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Islamabad