FATF Grey List: A challenge for Pakistan




What is the FATF (financial action task force)? 

An inter‐governmental politics body, comprised of over 30 countries, that features a ministerial mandate to establishes international standards for combating concealment and terrorist financing.
Over 180 jurisdictions have joined the FATF or an FATF‐style regional body, and committed at the ministerial level to implementing the FATF standards and having their anti‐money laundering (AML)/counter‐terrorist financing (CFT) systems assessed. 
What does the FATF do?
Sets international standards to combat concealment and terrorist financing. Assesses and monitors compliance with the FATF standards. Conducts typologies studies of cash laundering and terrorist financing methods, trends and techniques. Responds to new and emerging threats, like proliferation financing.
What are the FATF Recommendations?
The internationally endorsed global standards for implementing effective AML/CFT measures. They increase the transparency of the financial system (making it easier to detect criminal activity) and provide countries the capacity to successfully take action against money launderers and terrorist financiers. 

Pakistan in FATF and grey list 

In 2018 FATF was grey listed Pakistan and conjure Pakistan apply the condition and term that are seated by FATF. The main reason Pakistan came under grey list is that Pakistan is not taking adequate steps against illegal tax avoidance and dread financing. 

FATF had passed its 27 point activity plane with a clear warning that whoever neglect those point would promote its boycotting means grey-listing which are considered to be as a save heavens for running illegal bank accounts tax evasion   

Which manner of Gray List: Those international locations which aren’t taken into consideration because the included paradise for helping worry financing and tax evasion; remembered for this rundown. The attention on this rundown isn’t always as severe as boycotted.  

Presently Gray rundown is an admonition given to the country that it could are available in Black rundown (Just like a yellow card in a soccer coordinate). On the off danger that a country cannot take a look at mushrooming of worry financing and unlawful tax avoidance; it’s far moved from darkish rundown to boycott via way of means of the FATF.  

Twitter displays Indian map excluding Kashmir

At the point when a nation comes in the Gray show, it faces numerous issues like;  

  • Financial approvals from worldwide establishments (IMF, World Bank, ADB and so on) and nations  
  • The issue in getting advances from worldwide foundations (IMF, World Bank, ADB and so forth) and nations  
  • In general Reduction in its worldwide exchange  
  • Global blacklist   

Pakistan became remembered for the darkish rundown without precedent for 2012 and stayed in it until 2015. On 29 June, 2018 FATF Gray recorded Pakistan for the following time. The cycle began in February 2018 while FATF affirmed the project of Pakistan for checking below its International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) typically called the ‘Dim rundown’.  

India ,USA and UK want that Pakistan must be remembered for the boycott of FATF at the same time as China and Turkey are limiting this move. As of now, Pakistan is in Gray rundown of FATF. Because of increasing pressure; Pakistan is endeavoring to consent to all of the 27 FATF Targets. However, as of October 2019; it can determine a way to agree to the most effective five focuses out of 27. Be that because it may, Pakistan once more is spared with the aid of using its all-weather associate China, currently within side the FATF seat. 


As everyone is familiar that, financial action task force asked Pakistan to pass strict laws against the financial crime like money laundering, so the current federal government is trying to coup this. But the internal politics create different barriers and obstacles in their way. For example in the case of Sindh where the PTI doesn’t have heavy mandate so the ruling party in Sindh is  blackmailing the federal government if they impose these kinds of law inside the country they forcefully stop the federal government to do that, so like this the other political party from the opposition side politicize this issues and mispronounce this issue in the front of general masses .Even every sensible person know the FATF suggestion are totally profitable for the national interest of the country, but on the other side these restrict laws directly hits the last thirty to thirty-five-year corruption of oppositions parties so their baseness’ is understandable against these FATF laws. 

Pakistan’s Prime minister Imran Khan called the western media  “hypocritical”

Pakistan strongest allies’ china and Malaysia played very positive role for the support of Pakistan in FATF, and these countries are also well-known strongest economies of Asia pacific group, so the vote of these countries will be significant for Pakistan, another important thing is that the current government of PTI emphasize more on the effective foreign policy in the region and as well as in the world so this will also help Pakistani narrative in FATF. 

Turkey also played important role in current issues of FATF as per now Pakistan and Turkey has good relation and are working in order to make Islamic world stronger and turkey is the key factor in this act and know the worth of Pakistan in this issue while Pakistan is also working on different areas in order to have strong relation with turkey. 

During his visit Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed Pakistani efforts in the war on terrorism and said that Pakistan was most affected by the menace he stated that “We are fully cognizant by the problems faced by the Pakistan and we will continue to extend the corporation to it to cope with them” moreover he also mentioned “despite all the pressure I assure you turkeys unflinching support at FATF our friendship is based on love and respect. Pakistan’s pain is our pain” 

Before the last meeting of FATF, everyone in Pakistan talks about Saudi Arabia and its supports for Pakistan in FATF, meanwhile during that time rumors were everywhere that, Saudi Arabia didn’t support the Pakistani narrative in FATF and Pakistani news channels also broke out this news as a national responsibility, but later that was found to be as a fake news that was created by Indian media to de-motivate the Pakistani public and their sentiments regarding Saudi Arabia, on other hand Saudi Arabia is not a member of Asia Pacific Group (APG) and didn’t have any significant role in the FATF policies. 

India always try to portray Pakistan as terrorist funding state and claimed that Zakir Rehman Lakhvi has been caught by Pakistani authorities under the act of funding the terror attacks held in Mumbai and the India claim that the detainee was arrested under FATF agreement. The response from Pakistan upon the Indian claim presented by the foreign office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez in a statement as “ India has no locus stand to comment on independent judicial mechanism of Pakistan in this regard the only compliance that interests Pakistan is abiding by its own statutes and fulfillment of its international obligation”. 

Supporting Kashmir struggle Freedom fighter or Terrorist 

The main reason Pakistan came under the umbrella of FATF is because of supporting the Kashmiri freedom struggle, viewing the past we had seen many acts by different countries in supporting the freedom fighters in 1971 India openly support Mukti Bahini and gave them arm assistance and all other support in order to fight with Pakistan and gain independence same was the case during soviet invasion in Afghanistan America supported afghan mujahedeen and world know the rest what happened, in current period of time there is a live example of Syria where America support the Free Syrian Army in order to fight with the government forces and they called there act legal under the international body. Till date international bodies aren’t unable to define the word “terrorism” everyone define terrorism from their own perspective so till date it isn’t clear what actually terrorism is. Seeing the UN it’s legal to support and help those who are fighting for their freedom or fighting against illegal occupations there is proper resolution in the UN which describes the support and help for freedom fighters and those who are fighting against occupations. 

Pakistan now seriously create a strong law against the money laundering and terror financing and FATF body also accept the Pakistani efforts, but at the same time the internal politics are biggest hurdles for current government to implement the laws those are creating under the suggestions of FATF ,and last important thing is Pakistan must coup with the Indian narratives wisely because India always portray Pakistan as a terrorist state on the other hand the India himself is one of biggest supporter of terrorism inside the region, India is involved in supporting Islamic State in Khoristan(ISIK) which is working in Pakistan and Afghanistan Baluchistan Liberation Army(BLA) Tehrik Taliban Pakistan(TTP) and many other small groups which are working for India to destabilize Pakistan and no international body see these acts of India as terrorism and have there eye on Pakistan that Pakistan isn’t cooperating with them. 


About Author:


Author is currently pursuing his BS degree in Defense and Strategic Studies from National Defense University Islamabad


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