FATF satisfied with Pakistan
AS per the decision of FATF regarding Pakistan is concerned, it is too early to say when Pakistan will be removed from the FATF grey list.
Currently, October has been given, but whether a new condition will be imposed after that or not, cannot be said with certainty.
FATF decision was to be announced on June 17 but different political parties and their social media teams even prior to the decision started taking credit that Pakistan has been removed from the grey list even photos from the previous meeting of FATF were being shared on social media accounts.
However, everything became meaningless when FATF members congratulated Pakistan on the completion of two Action Plans, especially on the completion of Action Plan 2021 in record time, and postponed the decision to remove Pakistan from the grey list till October.
The condition is that the FATF team will visit Pakistan to see if the system that Pakistan has created will be able to survive in the future.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan implemented 34 points ahead of time which needs to be appreciated which means that there is nothing impossible if somebody wants.
Since 2018, Pakistan joined the grey list, FATF has been re-examined several times, but each time a new list of objections has been submitted.
The threat even reached the blacklist. Preparations were made to weaken Pakistan economically, meaning that in addition to our trade with the outside world, debt and transaction matters were also at stake.
The hard work of the Pakistani governments and institutions, especially Pakistan Army together saved Pakistan from being blacklisted.
A coordination cell was set up in GHQ. Led by a Major General, the cell coordinated across all state and government agencies in the same way that the NCOC did in the Corona era to save the country from the plague.
A very important question also arises here, why we do not realize any important problem in advance and why do we allow water to pass through our heads only after which we fight hand and foot to save ourselves?
For example, we first joined the grey list in 2008. We enacted some legislation and came out of the list criminalizing money laundering.
But we did not listen to the changing times and kept going on our way and again in 2012, we fell into the trap of grey list.
We should have considered the seriousness of the matter and tried to get rid of it permanently.
One such attempt was made in 2016, when in a meeting chaired by the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister made it clear to the political leadership that if we do not impose restrictions on extremists and their funding, restrictions may be imposed so that Pakistani containers were not be allowed to land at international ports.
He was referring to FATF’s “strict rules on money laundering and terror financing, the violation of which could have pushed us from the grey list to the blacklist” was given.
Removing India’s role in the FATF issue could be tantamount to turning a blind eye to the facts.
India made every effort to trap Pakistan in its spider web and declare it a terrorist state. This has been made public in its ruling meetings.
India played hostility with all its heart but Pakistan took it as a challenge whose positive results are in front of everyone today.
We should not hesitate to acknowledge the fact that if India did not impose strict laws by imposing international pressure with the intention of harming Pakistan, the country’s economy could not be so documented, and even if it did, it would take many more years.
One of the reasons for the increase in remittances sent by Pakistanis abroad today is the closure of illegal dollar smuggling routes.
In this regard, legislation was also passed in the National Assembly while the courts also played their role in it.
Former Chief Justice Mr.Justice Saqib Nisar had warned the banks that if the biometric verification of all bank accounts is not completed by the due date.
If so, contempt of court case will be filed. However, after 4 years of hard work, we managed to fulfil the tasks assigned by FATF.
Not only this will improve our credit rating, but we will now be able to work more easily with the global financial institutions, including the IMF, on financing and debt.
—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.