International politics has been polarizing for years now, and the developed/under-developed countries have borne the brunt of this polarization. Certain blocs on the international level are made every other day incurring the displeasure of opposing countries. All this leg-pulling is not a step in the right direction, but just another factor corroborating the anarchy. Global elites have been exploiting the states for their own benefits unhindered. Moreover, these elites did not leave a stone unturned to coerce states to give a green signal to their interests and started manipulating inter-governmental and international financial organizations for their own interest.
The prime example is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) whose role in coercing and punishing states has been discussed in this article. It goes without saying that the US has been creating troubles in the entire world just to satisfy its own expanding influence. By the same token, it has also been made conspicuous in this article how the US and global elites use the FATF to grueling the states that belong to the opposing blocs. This article has made attempt to sketch a broader picture regarding the role of FATF and its manipulation.
Read more: Understanding FATF politics against Pakistan
How the FATF come into being?
Since the culmination of World War II, it was decided by the liberal order to erect Inter-Governmental Organizations in order to have a peaceful and cooperative world. Little did the developing/under-developed countries know that these institutions would be used to coerce them in the future to quench the expanding thrust of interests of great powers. The FATF was made to curb anti-money laundering and terror financing in the world by putting forth a list of recommendations to the countries found guilty of doing such acts; nevertheless, the global powers utilized these sorts of institutes to bolster their interests. FATF is such an initiative that punishes the countries not complying with the orders of global powers.
In a similar vein, if one takes a birds-eye view of FATF’s dealing, he/she will come to know how countries are dealt with through the carrot and stick approach. For instance, Yemen and Syria are war-torn countries where famine hits every month, and people are in dilapidated conditions. But the FATF has put them on the grey list under increased monitoring. Taking a more critical eye on this situation, readers will realize that both Yemen and Syria don’t comply with the interests of the United States. Yemen and Saudi Arabia are at loggerheads, and the US has a robust relationship with Saudi Arabia. Despite the deteriorated condition of Yemen, it is under the increased monitoring of FATF.
Moreover, the author in ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’ has had propounded that ‘how’ the US uses these institutes to further its interests and show the practical implementation of the carrot and stick approach. FATF is an initiative of G-7 countries that are congenial and great economies. These blatant discriminations by G7 are the order of the day where the relations with countries are determined after knowing the bloc to which that country belongs. As quoted above, Yemen and Syria do not bode well with the interests, hence are compelled to live under severe conditions and the humanitarian concerns are cold-shouldered.
Similarly, Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are under the high-risk jurisdictions of FATF, i.e. the black list. Their relation with the US is privy to none, ergo it again becomes conspicuous how the US wants these countries to affirm with its interests or get the stick. Again, both countries are haunted by the severe economic crisis but choose not to be a part of a specific bloc. This selective treatment of countries by FATF has made it controversial. The role of IGOs was not to punish the countries but to make them cooperate to make this globe a peaceful place to live.
On the other hand, the role of Israel and India in sponsoring proxies doesn’t come under discussion because both are dear fellows of the US. They get carrots because they comply with the interests of the US and other global elites despite their explicit role in creating chaos in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and many other countries. These discriminatory approaches by the institutes are making them unreliable and puppets of the few.
Read more: FATF and its contradictory policies
How Pakistan is being manipulated by FATF?
It is pertinent to note here that increased monitoring of Pakistan also is subject to its acquiescence with the US’ interests. Notwithstanding the factor that money laundering in Pakistan stems from the political elite but not to sponsor terrorism. That too has been significantly curbed and Pakistan has not been found to sponsor terrorism at any place. Even Pakistan has fulfilled 26 out of 27 recommendations of FATF, nevertheless still subject to the grey list.
All in all, these pick and choose approaches by the IGOs are fostering discrimination in the arena of world politics that was supposed to be a level playing field. It must be brought into the light that the US has assumed the self-proclaimed role of world police. The US has sponsored a plethora of wars or has been involved in a number of wars under the guise of enacting democracy. This role has been detrimental to the peace of the world, but the US goes unfettered. No IGO is able to hold the US accountable for all the chaos it creates in the world.
To encapsulate it all, the FATF is nothing but a tool of global elites to wither away from the opposition by exhausting the states economically. All the human rights and humanitarian concerns go into vain when a state dares to oppose the global elites. The role of FATF has been made evident in this article that how it has been employed to make states do what global elites want or taste the medicine for the opposition. This picture is bleak and cannot be seen getting its charm back anytime soon. Global elites will stay on exercising their unabated power, and the poor states would stay in harsh conditions.
The writer is pursuing MS in Security and Strategic Studies. He is a graduate of media studies and an awardee of the Mevlana Student Exchange Program. He has worked with a couple of news channels and a think-tank. He can be reached at Twitter @mees_um. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.