Pakistan in ‘Grey list’

K S Tomar
Notwithstanding international image of Terror sponsoring and funding of extremists from its soil including Osama Bin laden which led to 9/11 in America and 26/11 tragedy in Mumbai besides exporting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir killing thousands of innocent citizens, PAKISTAN has been bleeding since 2008 after its inclusion in ‘Grey List’ by Financial Task Action Force (FATF),an international Watch Dog on terror funding thereby suffering a Whooping losses of 38 billion US dollars (59,94,66,72,00,000.00 Pakistani Rupee).
Pakistan is facing serious Economic Depression due to which it has fallen in Debt Trap of China which has been using this Rogue State against India and Dragon’s total loans will go upto 100 billion US dollars by 2024 which will practically Mortgage this country with no sign of recovery for decades.
It is a sheer coincidence that an independent think tank named Tabadlab, with a title “Bearing the Cost Of Global Politics ”, released recently a Startling serious research report about the impact of decision of Financial Action Task Force(FTAF) since 2008 thereby Grey Listing Pakistan on its fragile economy.
The research paper’s shocking revelations covers a span of eleven years of grey-listing have been one of the factors of Pakistan’s cumulative GDP losses and latest decision of FATF to retain it in this category will add to its financial woes. The author quoted the research Data suggested that Pakistan’s removal from the grey list of the FATF has resulted in the revival of the economy which is evident from an increase in the level of GDP for the years 2017 and 2018. The research paper has attributed a major portion of the $38 billion losses to a reduction in household and Government consumption expenditure. 2ndly, Pakistan failure to implement the action Plan of FATF can adversely affect the economy through increased skepticism and disbelief surrounding the economy’s future projections which may lead to a sharp decline in local investments, inward foreign direct investment and exports .
Experts say that it is a bitter truth that entire world is aware of the Truth about practical and open financial support provided by Pakistan to terrorists from its soil including permanent shelter given to Osama Bin Laden who masterminded 9/11 in America, Financial Task Action Force(FATF) has retained it in ‘Grey List” and it has managed to evade its inclusion in ‘Black List’ for its failure to comply with recommendations of World watch dog vis -a -vis terror funding.
FATF’s latest virtual plenary was held from Feb 21 to Feb 26 in Paris and its decision not to include Pakistan in ‘Black List’ coincides with Supreme Court’s acquittal of terrorist Omar Saeed Sheikh, a main accused in the 2002 murder of American journalist ,Daniel Pearl which had irked the new Biden administration.
At its last plenary in October 2020, FATF concluded that Pakistan had fully complied with 21 of 27 points in the action plan but warned the country that it could not be given “forever” to address outstanding issues. As all deadlines for the action plan had expired, FATF had urged Pakistan to deliver on all 27 points by February 2021.
What will happen in June, 2021 ?
Pakistan has been seeking the support of its friendly nations like China, Turkey, Malasiya etc for an on-site visit, a crucial step — if agreed — will brighten Islamabad’s chances of formally exiting the ‘Grey’ List by June.
The media reports from Islamabad say that prior to FATF meeting, Pakistan foreign office officials have been intensely lobbying with the ambassadors and diplomats to apprise them of the ‘substantive progress’ made by it to implement the 27-point action plan.
2ndly, the FATF currently has 39 members including two regional organisations — the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council whereas India is a member of the FATF consultations and its Asia Pacific Group. Pakistan needs 12 votes out of 39 to exit the ‘grey’ list and move to the ‘white’ list and to avoid ‘black’ list, In this way,it just needs support of three countries and in this scenario, China, Turkey and Malaysia will stand by it to ensure its exit from ‘Grey list’ .
3rdly, FTAF president ’s remark about prosecution of terrorists in Pakistan, is stunning and interesting one when he says that the FATF is not an investigative organization and we assess the entire system of anti-money laundering and its framework which does not change with incidents per se.
Thwarting an attempt of FATF by Pakistan
To prevent the action, Pakistan Government has repeatedly been relying on US lobbying firms to find a way out of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list. Some reports say Texas-based Linden Strategies has been hired by the Pakistan Government to lobby with the Donald Trump administration. Pakistan is trying to influence America that it is seriously taking action against terrorists groups though reality is otherwise.
Islamabad had sought the assistance of lobbying firm Linden Strategies which calls itself a “Government relations and business development firm providing strategic analysis and advisory to domestic and international clients, including sovereign nations”. Pakistan requires the support of at least 12 out of 39 member states to remove its name from the grey list and this will largely depend on the approach the US and China.
To remove Pakistan from the list of non NATO ally
An influential US lawmaker has introduced legislation in Congress to terminate the designation of Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally.It might create a serious problem and expose Pakistan in the estimation of world.
Republican Congressman Andy Briggs introduced resolution 73 in the House of Representatives which seeks termination of Pakistan as a major non-NATO ally and also sets conditions for its re-designation if any.
The speaker has sent the resolution to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for necessary action.
As per document, resolution states “for future re-designation, the US President needs to certify to the Congress that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network in the country.
Pakistan seems to be relaxed and expects to comply remaining recommendations of FATF
Analyst believe that Pakistan has heaved a sigh of relief after evading its inclusion in ‘Black List’ which might have added to the woes of Imran khan government ,passing through a serious financial and credibility crisis .
In final assessment, it is historical event when Pakistan, known for harboring the terrorists attacking several foreign nations and exporting Terror in Jammu and Kashmir, admits to implement the recommendations of FATF to check financing these groups though it is completely a deception action. It is also harsh truth that America has been pampering Pakistan and never took India’s bleeding by Pakistan trained terrorists till 9/11 happened which was fallout of hiding of Osama Bin laden on the soil of this country?
China angle also protects Pakistan which is aimed at inflecting wounds on india and decelerate its advancement to become a super power in the world but Dragon’s such evil design may not succeed in future.
(The author is a senior journalist and political analyst)