Pakistan & FATF

by - October 23, 2020


            Normally, the Government of Imran Khan is having to suffer under the pressure of the alliance of eleven parties of the opposition. The crisis will be exacerbated by the actions of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). According to the International Anti-Terrorism Financial Council, the FATF is going to take strong action against Islamabad for its role in curbing militant activity and terrorism. In that case, the way out of the gray list may be completely blocked. Many in the international community believe that Pakistan should be left on the gray list based on the October 2019 Mutual Evaluation Report (MEP). Incidentally, the evaluation report was prepared at the joint initiative of the member countries every eight years.

               The FATF virtual conference is going to be held on October 21-23. There, on the basis of the Mutual Evaluation Report of October 2019, new steps may be taken against Pakistan, according to the relevant sources. Meanwhile, to get some relief from the FATF's crackdown, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan could use his influence on the Taliban and Haqqani militant network to try to negotiate a ceasefire in Afghanistan. That is what a section of Pakistan's observer community thinks. US President Donald Trump has already announced that US troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan before Christmas this year.

Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar & Dawood

                In this situation, Islamabad has accused India of politicizing the FATF. But the reality is that militant groups like Pakistan's Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba continue to attack civilians and security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. Qasim Jan, one of the accused in the Pathankot attack in 2016, is a member of Jaish-e-Mohammad. Besides, he is also the mastermind behind the attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. He also has slipper cells in this country. On the other hand, Talha, son of Hafiz Saeed, co-founder of Lashkar-e-Toiba, is said to be active in plotting militant activities against India. Earlier, it was alleged that a number of terrorist organizations were operating in Pakistan. They are funded directly and indirectly. The Mutual Evaluation Report on Islamabad further states that in addition to money laundering, various organized crimes including drug trafficking, fraud, human trafficking, smuggling & tax evasion are taking place in the country.

         Although India cannot comment directly or vote on the FATF, Pakistan's friend China is present there, but if FATF is blacklisted Pakistan, it is India's responsibility. India has no role in the list of extremists/militants in Pakistan issued by the International Red Cross Corner. But even if Pakistan is blacklisted in FATF, it is also India's responsibility. Like the proverb - Whoever doesn't like, his walking is crooked.

           Anyhow, Pakistan will stay on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force ( FATF). The choice was made at the plenary meeting of the FATF after the failure of Islamabad to abide by all 27 criteria set by the task force.

         On Friday (23 Oct. 2020), the world's leading anti-terrorism monitoring body, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), decided to continue Pakistan on a grey list till 21st February for failing to finalize with 6 out of the 27-point action plan it got. FATF President Marcus Pleyer said in his first virtual press conference, "Pakistan has achieved 21 out of 27. Pakistan has made gains, but it requires to do much more."

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