FATF’s grey list and Pakistan | By Dr Muhammad Khan


FATF’s grey list and Pakistan

DESPITE completion of 34 points action plan, Pakistan will remain in the Grey List of Financial Action Task Forces (FATF) till October 2022.

This was announced by President of FATF, Dr Marcus Pleyer at the end of its Plenary on June 17, 2022.

This Plenary of the FATF lasted for four days of hybrid meetings at Berlin, Germany.

During the meeting, FATF appreciated Pakistan for implementing the organisation’s action plans (34 points) which is an indication that Pakistan is moving closer to exit from Grey List of FATF.

As per President of FATF, an onsite inspection by FATF would be carried out before October 2022 which would follow the formal announcement about Pakistani status.

It is worth mentioning that, Pakistani economy and its international standing has suffered a lot in last four years while it remained in the grey list of FATF.

As per estimates of Tabadlab, a Pakistani-based independent think-tank, Pakistani economy has suffered over $38bn ever since it was placed under the grey list of FATF 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 reinforced by United States and Great 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.

These funny justifications of the planners while forcing FATF to place Pakistan in the grey list included that, there were ‘strategic deficiencies’ in its AML and CFT regimes.

The unholy nexus of Washington and New Delhi later included Britain, some EU countries and so-called friends of Pakistan from Muslim states of Middle East to support this biased decision of FATF.

Initially starting from few demands, this exploiting inter-governmental structure (FATF) put forth 27-points for implementation in one year.

The list was increased to 34 points by June 2021.Analysing these points and the action plan of FATF, one gets the impression that; it was totally discriminatory in nature and coercive in its objectivity.

Despite that, Pakistan made all-out efforts to implement these actions in last three years.

In the implementation of this action plan, Pakistan had to take some decisions which were quite unpopular and infuriated its masses.

But each time FATF would point-out shortcomings in these clearly implemented actions and demanded more.

In its meeting concluded on October 22, 2021, FATF demanded “Pakistan had to complete two concurrent action plans with a total of 34 items out of which it has addressed or largely addressed 30 items.”

In last four years FATF members have been very discriminatory towards Pakistan with clear and deliberate efforts to keep Pakistan in its Grey List despite; it completed and strictly acted upon all its action plans.

In its plenary session of June 2021, FATF placed Pakistan in its increased monitoring, which amounted to charge-sheeting Pakistan while demanding completion of six more points.

This list was in addition to the earlier one which included twenty-seven points.Upon completing 26 points out of 27 points in June 2021, the new list was added to 34 points with two concurrent lists.

In its discriminatory treatment, FATF has restricted the financial space for Pakistan under the cover of Terror Financing (TF).

This was amply clear from its warnings to Pakistan in its February and June 2020 sessions.

During these sessions, FATF warned Pakistan that, “[if] significant and sustainable progress especially in prosecuting and penalising TF (terror financing) not made by the next plenary, the FATF will take action” against Pakistan.

The new list of six points was all about the terror financing, a never ending phenomenon.Indeed, Pakistan is has been a victim of terrorism which funded by some of the key international actors with vested interests.

These states are simultaneously involved in two activities; financing terror in Pakistan and influence the FATF for organizational coercion against Pakistan.

With respect to terror financing, the member states of FATF know that, Pakistan has given unprecedented sacrifices in the process of defeating the terrorism.

Unfortunately this terrorism was largely funding from the members states of FATF. No country can match the achievements of Pakistan in the field of combating the terrorism.

Through hundreds of military operations and country-wide intelligence surveillances, 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 former Afghan Government (RAW and NDS) with support of former occupiers and global financial and strategic players.

In last two decades, all terrorist activities in Pakistan were sponsored and controlled from across the Pakistani borders especially from Afghan soil.

On its part, Pakistan physically defeated the terrorism, blocked the financial chain of terrorists and brought peace in the region.

It was unjustified demands from FATF once Pakistan was blamed for the ‘strategic deficiencies’ in itsAML and CFT regimes; indeed, it was nothing more exploitation and financial bullying of Pakistan by member states of FATF.

Alongside FATF, Pakistan has been pressurised by IMF for the fulfilment of its own agenda; yet another format of financial exploitation of Pakistan.

This agenda is all about economic collapse of Pakistan for creating a domestic chaos and external debt-trap.

Both these agendas are working side by side; supplementing and augmenting each other to economically devastate Pakistan until it totally submit to western and Indian demands.

The Pakistani leadership and its strategic planners must realise this international trap and work out a plan for honourable exit of the state from all international pressure regimes while pursuing the national interests of Pakistan rather personal agendas of few individuals.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.


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