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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Why the US wants to put Pakistan on global terror-financing ‘watch list’?

News Desk |

The US has presented a resolution seeking to place Pakistan on a global terror-financing ‘watch list’ which has been submitted to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Lamenting Pakistan for its inability to implement anti-money laundering and counterterrorism laws, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert has expressed deep concerns about Pakistan’s ability and intent to uproot terrorism-related activities from its soil. 

Pakistan’s diplomatic circles were aware of the efforts of anti-Pakistan forces joining together led by the USA

While talking to reporters, she said the US has had reservations over Pakistan’s actions against the terrorist networks for a long time.

She added that having seen scant efforts by Pakistan to combat them, the US has decided to put Pakistan on an international watch-list. India and Afghanistan have upped their efforts to convince the USA of Pakistan’s role in assisting militants in their countries.

Pakistan’s diplomatic circles were aware of the efforts of anti-Pakistan forces joining together led by the USA to sabotage Pakistan growing as an investment hub and economic force under CPEC. 

Read more: Trump unveiled an anti-CPEC strategy, not an Afghan one

Pakistan is being accused of non-compliance with terrorist financing regulations by the FATF. Pakistan’s erstwhile allies, US and UK joined hands to put forward the motion against Pakistan and also persuaded the Germany and France to support the move. Pakistan was on the list from 2012 to 2015. Pakistan is attempting to persuade the countries from doing such an action which will affect its banking and trade standing.

A meeting of Paris-based FATF member states is taking place next week in Paris, where the organization could adopt the motion on Pakistan. It is the latest US pressure tactic to force Pakistan to stop allegedly helping militants cross the border to fight in Afghanistan and India.

Pakistan’s Economic Challenges

Despite, the expectations from the success of CEPC. Its’ true impact is yet to be calculated with precision until all the economic zones are not operational and Pakistan’s share of the profits is not known with clarity.

Currently, Pakistan’s economy faces acute challenges, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) declined by 3% in last 7 months, it has a soaring debt to GDP ratio (around 67%) and deteriorating external balance have all become a major concern. Widespread corruption, higher cost of energy, weak trade obsession with debt-financed growth have all weakened the country.

Read more: Map of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Projects

Will Pakistan’s Pre-emptive move Work?

Understanding the huge economic repercussions that would afflict Pakistan, if it was put on the FATF, Pakistan amended a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 to enable the authorities to move against individuals and organizations prescribed by the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC).  

The federal government issued the notification to seize all the moveable and immovable assets of the organizations named in the UNSC sanctions list. This week the Punjab government swiftly seized assets and funds belonging to Hafiz Saeed’s Jamat ud Dawa (JuD) and its welfare wing the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).

America’s Fear

The expected dividends of the CPEC related projects, helping China achieve a westward trade route away from the US patrolled Malacca straits and its positive impact on Pakistan’s ailing economy has frightened India and its allies, who wish to bolster India against China.

Read more: US is not against CPEC: An Indian view?

The deep penetration of terrorists in Pakistan, revealed by Kulbushan, but long suspected by the Pakistani establishment, has been a concern for Pakistan. India is using the US power in every forum to put Pakistan under pressure. The US is pressurizing Pakistan with all it has, having seen that they have not been able to cower Pakistan, to do what they want, after stopping US aid they are now using the FTAF as a tool.

Pakistan’s response as would be expected has been to move into an even closer cooperation with the Chinese. This response was also expected by the US establishment as this week, 17 US intelligence agencies reporting to Congress warned it of the same. Pakistan, which sees itself betrayed by the USA once again after a close strategic relationship has now started opening itself up to warmer relations with Russia and Iran.