India, not Pakistan merits to be on the radar of FATF

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Rayyan Baig
THE Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was founded in 1989 on a G7 initiative to tackle
money laundering. Initially, the organization was tasked with monitoring legislative, financial and law-enforcing activities. After 9/11 the jurisdiction of FATF was expanded and terror financing was also brought under its purview. The FATF asked the states to confiscate proceeds of illegal transactions and form a financial intelligence unit to receive and probe suspicious transactions reports. FATF started with 16 members, however, at present it has 39 members. There are nine regional bodies which are devised for combating money laundering and terror financing in their respective regions, Pakistan falls in the Asia/Pacific Group.
The country which is considered a safe haven for terror financing is included in Grey List, which is a warning for the country to tackle the issue. If the country fails to actively tackle money laundering or terror financing it is declared as blacklisted; so for Iran and North Korea have been included in Black list. On black listing a country, the risk rating companies like Moody’s and Fitch downgrade rating of the country and institutions like IMF and ADB tread cautiously with such a country. It also adversely impacts county’s imports, exports, remittances and limit its access to international lending thus adding to its financial difficulties.
The basic purpose of establishing FATF was to help the countries by ensuring that the funds are not easily accessible to terror organizations committing heinous crimes against humanity. Pakistan itself has been the biggest victim of terrorism, as it lost about 80,000 lives and suffered a staggering loss of about 200 billion US dollars. Pakistan has been on the forefront and been fighting the war against terror on behalf of the world. After the APS Peshawar incident the entire nation stood united against terrorism and all the political parties collectively gave National Action Plan “NAP” to crack down on terrorism. The previous government did take some action on the NAP but not exclusively as per the spirit of plan. However, the present government is moving in a big way to check the non-state actors and terror financing/ money laundering. The government is doing all what is possible to hold all those involved in money laundering, but surprisingly the countries where this money has been laundered/ stashed are hesitant to help. Those involved in money laundering are either taking refuge in said countries or the data of their ill-gotten wealth is not shared with Pakistan. The trail of their money if used in terror financing can only be found once the accused are repatriated/ handed over and their details are shared with the Government of Pakistan.
Unfortunately, in certain cases the FATF is being used by its members/major powers as a tool for political leverage. Pakistan despite its sincere efforts, especially under present regime, to clean the muck of terrorism, created by the entire world is coerced through FATF. Whereas, those who destroyed countries after countries, killed millions, hatched terrorism in neighbouring countries and made lives of their own minorities miserable remained off from the RADAR of FATF. India has a long history of creating terrorism and interfering in the neighbouring countries. She created Mukti Bahini in erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and broke a sovereign country into two, killed the royal family of Nepal and bred terrorism in Balochistan and rest of Pakistan. A serving Indian Navy officer Kulbushan Jadhav was caught red handed from Baluchistan and confessed doing/ financing terrorism in parts of Pakistan. The terrorism factory of BJP/RSS has made the life of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and other minorities in India awful and the people of IOK have been stripped off their identity and legal rights. The Indian government has also been involved in the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat and IOK and Sikhs in Indian Punjab.
In India, trillions of dollars have been laundered since decades, it came in the limelight when in early 1990s many politicians were caught, and Panama/other leaks have also highlighted the fact. India is also involved in terror financing in neighbouring countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, the confessions of KJ are sufficient proof of the same. The Indian Development Fund (IDRF) a US based tax-exempt public charity is also linked to BJP/RSS. A large quantity of IDRF designated funds (around 80%) are sent to organizations linked to RSS, VHP and the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram. As per Outlook magazine report, IDRF is funding Hindu organizations implicated in violence against minorities in India. She is the biggest perpetrator of hate, extremism, terrorism, terror financing and money laundering. The diabolic activities of RSS/ Indian Government, against religious minorities, merits India to be on the radar of FATF. Rather, she qualifies to be placed on the Black List straightaway by the FATF and removed from the membership of Asia Pacific Group to judge others.
The world bodies need to be fair and impartial and should not be allowed to be used for political manoeuvring or coercing any country. A member using any world body for self-agenda or using it for political steering should be removed from the active panel of that body. Against all odds Pakistan has succeeded in defeating terrorism and striving hard with utmost sincerity to eradicate extremism and check financial irregularities from the country. Instead of pressing Pakistan unjustly, its positive efforts/ achievements need to be acknowledged by FATF and be removed from the Grey List in its next session in Feb 2020.
—The writer is a freelance journalist.

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