Concerns and predictions on FATF situation for Pakistan – Nadeem Haque

The former deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission shares his views on the FATF situation for Pakistan. GVS asked him whether we should be worried about Pakistan being put on the FATF grey list and whether a reduction in US aid matters?

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If the US stops its aid, as it has done previously, it won’t have a very large impact on our economy. By this stage, it doesn’t send a lot of aid to Pakistan. And frankly speaking, the government does not receive the US aid money anyway; as a large part of its goes to consultants, and the other part of it is “consumed” by people of position in Islamabad.

So, I don’t see its reduction impacting us majorly. The US has stopped Pakistan’s aid three-times before, but it did not particularly impact Pakistan. When they restricted aid before, they didn’t follow up with restricting IMF, so, I don’t expect that they will do it now. The US does not want to bankrupt Pakistan, so IMF will continue its function as it was doing so earlier.

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They did put us (Pakistan) on the greylist before, they have done it again. It will have a minor impact but certainly won’t bankrupt Pakistan. However, if Pakistan fails to comply by the conditions imposed to get out of the watch list, then, if they put us on a blacklist, it could have a major impact on the economy.

I have written many books and columns on the (probable) actions which Pakistan must take. Our problem is internal; it’s not an external issue. We [Pakistan] have domestic issues. Basically, we still live in the colonial Raj.

When we expelled the British, we put our own Babu’s [bureaucrats] in charge and it is the same case with the Judiciary. We neither changed our justice system or civil services. When nothing has changed, then what can be expected out of the system? Our system will function as it did previously.

It will run the same circus, as it is now. No one has been able to change the system. If we fail to make reforms, it won’t have much impact. So, focusing on the greylist does not change much. Our systems have become obsolete. We have to modernize them, and we have to work on them. Countries don’t develop by making roads. Systems have to be created and Pakistan needs to come out of this quagmire of the Patwari, the DC, the Judge, etc.

Nadeem ul Haque, the former deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission, former Trade Policy Advisor to the Minister of Commerce, and has worked in the IMF for decades last as the senior resident representative in Egypt and Sri Lanka amongst other places. 

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