FATF: Rational approach is needed towards Pakistan
This practice is continuing despite hectic Pakistani efforts of addressing the key concerns of FATF ever since 2018.
In its current session, concluded on 25 February 2021 FATF decided to review the status of Pakistan in its next extraordinary plenary session of June 2021.
At the end of four-day virtual plenary session, the President of FATF, Dr Marcus Pleyer said, “Pakistan remains under increased monitoring”.
The major concerns still needs to be addressed as underlined by FATF are; demonstrating that terrorism financing (TF) investigations and prosecutions target persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities, demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions and demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists, specifically those acting for or on their behalf.
These three concerns have been designated by FATF as the strategically important deficiencies at the level of Pakistan.
Same deficiencies were observed by FATA in its last two plenary sessions of this organization.
On its part, Pakistan has taken extreme measures against terrorism and terrorism financing.
Army Chief General Bajwa during his visit to North and South Waziristan on 02 March 2021 once again stressed troops and locals, “We have to remain vigilant and steadfast to thwart hostile attempts to create chaos and reverse the gains of Operation Raddul Fasaad.”
Operation Raddul Fasaad is an intelligence-based operation, primarily launched by Gen Bajwa himself to end the terror financing and eliminate the terror support among the masses.
Its results have been extremely good and Pakistan has done away with the menace of terrorism and terror financing from its soil.
The outcome of the Feburary-2021 plenary meeting of FATF is irrational, prejudiced, politically motivated, and coercive in nature.
It is amounting to exploitation and blackmailing of Pakistan on the same few invisible observations, which FATF calls strategic deficiencies.
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 the 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.
Initially starting from a few demands, this exploiting inter-governmental structure put forth 27 points for implementation which Pakistan completed and reported to FATF in 2020 session.
The Financial Action Task Force (Grouped’ action financier) 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 of the US and West.
After fully knowing that 27 point action plan of FATF is discriminatory in nature and coercive in its objectivity, Pakistan made all-out efforts to implement them in the last one year.
In the implementation phase of 27 point 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 outcome of this meeting of FATF clearly indicates that, it is not the completion of action on 27 point, but a demand for the total submission of Pakistan for the attainment of strategic objectives of the 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 military.
The TTP and many other terrorist outfits in Pakistan were trained, financed and abated by a spying network of India and Afghanistan (RAW and NDS).
All terrorism in Pakistan was sponsored from Afghan soil through these and many other spying networks.
In their prolonged presence in Afghanistan, NATO and US did not stop export of NDS-RAW sponsored terrorism into Pakistan while being in total control of Afghan soil.
Whereas Pakistan physically defeated the terrorism, blocked the financial chain of terrorists and brought peace to the region and still being blamed by FATF for the ‘strategic deficiencies’ in its terror financing.
If Pakistan is being grilled by this discriminatory organization for doing good to international community, then what about those states that have been financing the terrorists and acted as abettor of terrorism in other states as their state policies.
In 2020, Mr Jada, a Black American revealed many facts related to Indiana based Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and the RSS.
While revealing the facts in front of a Town Council in New Hampshire against the disenfranchisement of the US citizens, he compared KKK with RSS and racial agenda, both having inter-connected terrorist agendas.
RSS is Government sponsored terrorist outfit, funded by Government of India including its global financing through money laundering. Why the US, EU, India and others are quiet over the applicability of FATF laws over (Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism) over RSS.
FATF must adopt a rational approach towards all states at international level. It has not been rational towards Pakistan in most of its post 9/11 meetings and decisions.
It’s not enough to say that Pakistan has made significant progress, yet pointing out strategic deficiencies, based on three intangible points out of total 27. On its part, Pakistan has done extremely well on these points.
Pakistan has already significantly improved its investigation and prosecution procedures while dealing with anyone involved in terror financing.
By all means, FATF must be logical in its approach and remove Pakistan from its grey list.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.