Pakistan is likely to be again put on Financial Action Task Force’s grey-list of nations if it does not take concrete steps to tackle terror funding in June. Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a body of governments of several countries formed in 1989 to tackle the issue of terror-financing and money-laundering.
Pakistan is left with no option but to make the necessary modifications if it wants to prevent its name from being included as otherwise that will have huge ramifications on its foreign investment and worsen the tension between Islamabad and Washington. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Rana Afzal Khan stated that they have not yet been informed about the steps they need to undertake and called for a meeting to decide on a strategy for the FATF issue post March 1, 2018.
The voting for inclusion of Pakistan’s name did not occur immediately on conclusion of the six-day talks of the FATF members because of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and China remaining silent earlier. However, after some intense diplomatic talking by the US, Saudi Arabia changed its stance and that changed the overall decision. Pakistan has now got a mere three months to show that it means what it says.
The terror funding watchdog’s decision has stunned Pakistan which had faith in its progressive relations with China and Saudi Arabia and just goes to show that terror financing is a subject not to be taken lightly by anyone.
Though Pakistan was included in the grey list for period 2012–2015, this time round the possibility arose due to inaction on the part of Islamabad against the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. He is being given total freedom in Pakistan and operates under the front of JuD; his charity organization.
Post FATF decision, Pakistan has changed its anti-terror laws to be in accordance with the UN requirements. At the same time, Pakistan’s ex-central bank governor, Yaseen Anwar has assured that the country’s economy will not be affected in any way. Yaseen was responsible for getting Pakistan out of the grey list in 2012.
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