Pakistan may remain in the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the world’s top anti-terrorism monitoring group, which voted against the Islamic country on Friday for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s failure to fully comply with a 27-point action plan handed to it.
The FATF’s decision on Friday is a setback for Imran Khan, who had lobbied hard to get his country off-the-hook. The global watchdog, however, didn’t budge as Pakistan failed to deliver consistently on 6 out of the 27 action points.
FATF backing is extremely vital for Pakistan if it wants financial help from the international financial bodies like the World Bank or International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Pakistan completed 21 of 27 items, it definitely means that world has become safer. But the 6 outstanding items are very serious deficiencies that still have to be repaired, risks haven't gone. Pakistan govt must do its best to work on these 6 items: Marcus Pleyer, FATF president https://t.co/YSV3qHfFKp pic.twitter.com/hv92pYx85H
— ANI (@ANI) October 23, 2020
An announcement on Pakistan’s unchanged status is likely to be made any time soon. While the FATF did note down certain progress made by Pakistan to address technical compliance deficiencies, the agency clearly asked Islamabad to do more.
With the FATF making its stand clear, it is very evident that Pakistan will remain on the grey list for a minimum of six months before its performance could be reviewed.
India, which suffers due to Pakistan’s use of terrorism as an instrument of diplomacy, had put up its case ahead of the Friday’s FATF plenary meeting, clearly blaming Pakistan for providing a safe haven for internationally banned terrorists like Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakirur Rahman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim.
New Delhi submitted 3,800 unprovoked ceasefire violations along the ceasefire line, which were used to push terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir and smuggle narcotics across the LoC using drones.
Pakistan was placed on the FATF’s grey list in June 2018 after its sustained failure to act against terrorist groups. Islamabad has since then been pretending to show that it is making efforts to contain terrorism, but has failed to impress the international community.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s failure to get his country out of the FATF grey list is also seen as a failure of its diplomacy since it needed the support of 12 countries to back up its narrative that Pakistan should be given a reprieve since it was on its way to fulfill its commitments to fight terror funding.