The results are out and the country barely avoided the Financial Action Task Force FATF Pakistan Blacklist 0n Terrorism and Money Laundering.
FATF is an intergovernmental body, on the urging of the US, lobbying of India has placed Pakistan on the grey list again from June 2018 and will be revising the progress on the 40 point Mutual Evaluation Report Card on Anti Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terror Regimes (AML/CFT) as soon as the Corona Dust settles in September 2020 somewhere.
The funny thing is that Pakistan isn’t even a full member state of FATF.
Which Countries are on FATF Blacklist on Terrorism Financing?
Iran and North Korea are on FATF Blacklist for now
History of FATF and Pakistan Blacklist on Terrorism
Pakistan has been on the list from 2012-15 previously as well. During that time the country successfully tapped funds from the IMF, but the US wasn’t so openly hostile back then.
The repercussions of FATF Pakistan Greylist
This time easy money would be improbable. Inclusion in the grey list entails difficult access to cheap money from the international market.
Multilateral lenders like IMF/World Bank, heavily influenced by the US and India, would hamstring Pakistan, which is chronically short of investment.
Our banking sector will come under strain to meet the stringent money laundering requirements. This is bound to hurt Pakistan’s debt payments, which are expected to spike to 5 Billion USD in 2022, thanks to poor utilization of foreign exchange and CPEC paybacks.
Pakistan was taken off the list in 2015 because of the verifiable work put into merit removal. What Pakistan did wrong this time is a mystery, besides antagonizing the US and India both.
Pakistan was already working on Terror Financing before FATF vote
Money laundering and terror financing are areas that have been debated in Pakistan for a long time now. Karachi Operation couldn’t have succeeded without drying out this terrorist funding lifeline.
I doubt any other country could have done what Pakistan managed to do for its people, related to terror financing. What Pakistan was expected to do was to arrest terror financing of groups operating against US interests in the region i.e. Jamaat ud Dawa, Haqqani Network, Lashkar e Tayyaba and Al Qaeda.
Why Pakistan can’t do more?
Pakistan has consistently stated that it doesn’t have to stamina to make enemies out of militants that are not against the country. US and India don’t buy this line, naturally so, considering Pakistan has very little global standing as it has very little to offer the powers to be.
FATF Pakistan Blacklist due to Terrorism is Politically Motivated
Pakistan’s financial advisor Miftah Ismail called this inclusion in the FATF list ‘politically motivated’. I tend to agree. Especially considering Pakistan’s FATF mutual assessment, which is the stage-wise process of assessing met targets, never gets approved. Now Pakistan is on the Enhanced Monitoring regime of AML/CFT.
What makes the matter so fishy is that there are reports that the US delegates rushed to quiet down the Gulf Coop Council delegate when they tried to object to the nomination of Pakistan. So much for guardians of Ummah!
The Countries against Pakistan in FATF
China dropped support for Pakistan on quid pro quo of getting vice chairmanship of this forum, with a bump up by India. Only Turkey stood firm. Malaysia the only other Muslim country also voted against, and we have been feting Mr. Mahathir as a God.
India is ecstatic. Their internet trolls’ are having a field day.
Pakistan’s alleged support to Jamaat ud Dawa & Haqqani network which is inimical to US interests with India and Afghanistan respectively has been punished, they say.
Pakistan added to its diplomatic nightmare by giving unilateral breakout to China without written agreements from the country to mitigate the blowback.
Russia secured its Eastern Flank without the extra baggage of supported Pakistan diplomatically. We risked alienated Iran, our neighbor by sending troops to Saudi Arabia, without their firm commitments to support Pakistan.
Even the UK that hosts millions of Pakistani-origin diaspora co-sponsored the treacherous resolution.
Global nobody like Hong Kong and Malaysia didn’t support Pakistan. This should be an eye-opener for the Pakistan Government to be very selfish in International relationship building.
None of the 35 FATF member states supported Pakistan’s point of view besides China, GCC, and Turkey, who did so, initially.
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA were all against till the very end.
- Also, read Is Pakistan Civilized?
FATF a white man’s club
A cursory look at FATF member states gives an impression of a Whiteman’s club, the kind that has been spoilt rotten over centuries of excess and luxury at the expense of bullying the brown and black man. The hypocrisy is sickening.
While the US conducts war and regime changes in vulnerable countries to get richer, the rest of the white club sublets its sovereignty, for the US’s goodwill.
India trying to act White
India is trying to gate crash into this white club, by dangling its huge middle-class market — this wouldn’t last for long if it keeps trying to undermine its neighbors’.
It’s about time Pakistan stops giving unilateral concessions to countries in trade and diplomacy without written agreements on diplomatic support.
Every bullet imported should have rider clauses that require the country of origin to support Pakistan’s stance globally.
Billions of dollars in imports by Pakistan could have secured better allies. Now the Foreign Office would be licking its wounds.
Time to get back to the drawing board and list down the countries that can be brought into Pakistan’s diplomatic net.
This is after Pakistan bent over backward since the 50s to please the white master, for a few war toys. Pakistan’s strategic interests were never aligned with the US.
Is Kashmir worth landing on FATF Pakistan Blacklist on Terrorism and Money Laundering?
Kashmir, the cornerstone of Pakistan’s prestige, was never US’s priority. Pakistan only bought time from the US by engaging in disastrous pro-US military actions that alienated our neighborhood and made Pakistan the pariah in the world.
Billions of dollars of losses to the economy in bombings, civil unrest, terror, killings, guns, and drugs in the recent war on terror and anti-Soviet campaign inside Afghanistan.
Now the USA wants Pakistan to
- Accept Indian hegemony,
- Stop being Islamic,
- Abandon our doctrine of India is an existential threat,
- not to give a breakout to China from its encirclement in the far east
- Eliminate tactical nuclear warheads,
- Abandon Kashmir for which four wars have been fought, just because the US needs India at its side.
I am a proponent of the doctrine that says ‘A stick and a kind word goes farther than just a kind word’. Pakistan does need whatever stick it has but should use it sparingly, so as not to alienate annoying bystanders.
In the meantime, give the foreign office a free hand to aggressively pursue iron clad assurances from potential allies, while leveraging Pakistan’s military, manpower and market resource.
What happens if lands on FATF Pakistan Blacklist on Terrorism Financing?
Pakistan would be ruined financially.
None of the big money lenders World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank, and even the Non-Governmental Funders will avoid being associated with Pakistan. The already poor Pakistani population will suffer immensely.
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