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Monday, April 15, 2024

10 questions if FATF is biased against Pakistan

FATF's decision to keep Pakistan on the grey list despite the country's effort to address 24 out of the 27 action items raises a lot of unanswered questions.

The decision of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to keep Pakistan in its grey list till June 2021 despite the fact that it addressed 24 out of 27 action items has raised serious questions over the approach of global terror-financing and money-laundering watchdog.

Ignoring to include India and Afghanistan in its list even with credible evidence available, it is not out of place to point that the FATF accountability laws are being used for splintering and fracturing strategically selective countries like Pakistan.

Read more: Countering FATF Prejudice against Pakistan: The Acrimonious Fact

Here are the 10 questions on FATF’s discriminatory approach towards Pakistan:

  1. Why FATF shut its eyes after the United States Treasury department’s Finance Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) exposed the involvement of Indian Banks, including state-owned banks in $1.53 billion money laundering used for terror-financing?
  2. Why the same 27-point action plan has not been handed over to India on proof of India’s terror-financing to outfits including DAESH and TTP?
  3. Why FATF has not greylisted India despite clear evidence of human rights violations in Kashmir?
  4. Why the Indian spying on Pakistan’s soil through its serving navy commander Kulbhushan Jadhav never became FATF’s case of discussion?
  5. Why Afghanistan is not on any list of FATF despite the fact that multiple international and U.S. authorized reports pointed out huge amounts of illegal money flowing in and out of Afghanistan?
  6. Why Pakistani journalists at the virtual plenary session at FATF Headquarters in February were not given a chance to question but an opportunity was given to several Indian reporters?
  7. The Greylisting caused $38 billion direct loss to Pakistan. For a poor economy like Pakistan, badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic’s burden, why FATF failed to translate its appreciation practically by not upgrading Pakistan out to the white list?
  8. Why Pakistan was subjected to perhaps the most challenging and comprehensive action plan ever given to any country despite it made sacrifices in the war on terror with its economy suffering $250 billion loss?
  9. Why FAFT has not clarified the apprehension that international organizations dealing with tax matters and illicit financing should not be used as an instrument to pressurize developing countries?
  10. Isn’t Pakistan’s presence among under-developed countries currently on the FATF grey list is an easy example of ‘Pick the Odd one Out’? – Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Ghana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Senegal, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

In the last meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) the body appreciated Pakistan for the significant progress made on the entire action plan.

“To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items,” FATF stated in its plenary meeting held on February 25.

Read more: Pakistan stays in grey list by FATF; plenary appreciates its hard work

The FATF also acknowledged the continued high-level political commitment of Pakistan to combat terrorist financing which, according to the FATF statement, has led to significant progress across comprehensive countering financing of terrorism plan.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Muhammad Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan had completed almost 90% of its current Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action-plan with 24 out of 27 items rated as largely addressed and the remaining 3 items partially addressed.

According to a timeline by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute, there has been an improvement in Pakistan’s relations with the Financial Action Task Force.

Courtesy: APP