FATF—A geopolitical tool

Think-tanks of most developing countries have been engaged in a debate for decades regarding a trap set by two international organisations namely, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) for third-world countries. In this context, a third international organisation namely the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is not far behind in playing this role, as Pakistan was trapped in the ‘grey list’ by this international organisation in spite of significant progress on FATF’s given plan.

Historically, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was established by the Group of seven countries (G-7) in a Summit that was held in Paris, France in 1989 in response to mounting concern over money laundering and financing of terrorism. Since the new millennium, the aforementioned organisation has turned into a western backed and biased organisation.

The biases of FATF can be analysed well as Pakistan was placed on 23rd in the list of FATF. It genuinely means that twenty-two countries were to be examined before Pakistan. But what happened is that the organisation picked the country placed on 23rd and started examining it, whereas those twenty-two are still pending. It is a tool of geopolitics and the carrot and stick policy of India and the United States against Pakistan. India, an arch rival of Pakistan, wants diplomatic and financial isolation of Pakistan like Iran and North Korea.

The strategic nexus of India and the United States turned its face towards Pakistan due to China’s investment in Gwadar in the shape of CPEC which is often called the flagship project of BRI. The nexus is not only intended to exploit Pakistan and its grand project CPEC internally with the help of rebel groups and non-state actors including the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) but endeavouring hard to exploit both Pakistan and its grand project externally with the help of international organisations, especially FATF.

Some European countries, especially France have not been happy with Pakistan, as Pakistan is the first country around the globe that raises its voice against every Islamophobic act.

Why is India exempted from the bird’s eye view of FATF despite being a major terrorism financer on the globe? Pakistan revealed detailed evidence in the form of a dossier on ‘Indian state sponsored terrorism and destabilisation in Pakistan and presented it before the international community including the United Nations.

9,130 terror acts were committed in Pakistan, since 2011, resulting in 83,000 casualties including 32,000 martyrs including 23,000 civilians and 9,000 officers and personnel of law enforcing agencies. Islamabad also suffered 126 billion in economic losses whereas the lost economic opportunities could not be calculated.

India had been promoting terrorism not only from its own soil but has also been using the land of other neighbouring countries to destabilise Pakistan, especially Afghanistan. The role played by the Indian embassy and consulates in Afghanistan operating along Pakistan’s border in sponsoring terror in Pakistan where the Indian Ambassador and diplomats regularly work with collaborators to provide financial support to the TTP and other dissident Balochs, but also supervise terrorist activities carried out in Pakistan. To extend financial support for terrorism in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two transactions amounting to $28,000 and $55,851 were made. It has also come to Pakistan’s knowledge that India has paid $820,000 to TTP leaders through its collaborators. Indian agencies are managing 87 terrorist camps out of which 66 are in Afghanistan.

A 37-nation FATF plenary held its first meeting on Pakistan in February where China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia opposed the United States-led move to place Pakistan on the watchlist. But the US pushed for an unprecedented second discussion on Pakistan, held on February 22. By then, Washington had convinced Riyadh to give up its support to Pakistan in return for a full FATF membership. This left only two—China and Turkey—in the Pakistan camp, one less than the required number of three members to stall a move. At this stage, Pakistan appreciated the Chinese position and conveyed its gratitude to Turkey for continuing to support Islamabad against all odds.”

Wise strategic moves, policy and the tough endurance is mandatory to tackle the ongoing international scenario.

Jai Kumar Dhirani

The writer is a political analyst. He can be reached at jai.dhirani@yahoo.com.

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