Pakistan could not fool FATF with its half measures and last ditch efforts to come out of Grey List

Despite all its diplomacy and last minute face saving exercises, Pakistan could not come out of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ‘Grey List’. The financial watchdog, after the end of its 4 day plenary decided to keep Pakistan in its ‘Grey List’ implying that financial transactions of Pakistan will be closely monitored. The FATF has given Pakistan time till June to fully implement all the 27 recommendations till FATF’s June meeting in which Pakistan’s fate will be decided. The FATF said Pakistan had completely implemented 24 recommendations and had partly implemented 3. FATF has put Pakistan in ‘Grey List’ since 2018 for its inability and lack of will to prevent money laundering and terror funding. The FATF had asked Pakistan to take action against designated terror organizations and terrorists of Pakistan but Pakistan failed to comply. It was only in January 2021, that it took some half measures against terrorists and terrorist organizations keeping in view the plenary of FATF to be held from February 22, 2021. Pakistan arrested Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi in January. A Pakistani court had sentenced Lashkar-e-Taiba leader and designated terrorist Hafiz Sayeed last year to 35 years imprisonment. But that was also an eyewash to hoodwink FATF because its parent body Jamat ud Dawah has always enjoyed patronage of the Punjab government. In 2013, Shahbaz Sharif led Punjab government allocated JuD Rs 61 million. It also issued a tender for construction and repair work in JuD complex in Muridke. New Age Islam had published a detailed report on it in 2013. Another designated terrorist Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Mohammad named by FATF was not arrested though Pakistan had acknowledged his presence in Pakistan. A Pakistan court issued an arrest warrant against Masood Azhar in January but the police did not arrest him. FATF could see through Pakistan’s unwillingness to arrest him. Another factors that went against Pakistan was the recent acquittal of Omar Shaikh, the prime accused in American journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder and Pakistan’s diplomatic tussle with France, a powerful member of FATF in the aftermath of Emmanuel Macron’s ‘Islam in crisis’ remark last year. Pakistan had denounced his remark in its National Assembly and passed a resolution to recall its ambassador from France. It had also called France’s ambassador in Pakistan and registered its unhappiness over the remark with him. The fact is that Pakistan has used terrorism as a state policy and therefore, it has sponsored terrorism against India and Afghanistan. The statistics given by Pakistan itself speak of the enormity and severity of the problem of terrorism in Pakistan. The statistics released by Pakistan army says that 1,850 incidents of terrorism occurred in Pakistan from 2017 to 2021. The Army said that it conducted 375,000 operations during the last four years to reduce urban terrorism under its special operation ‘Raddul Fasad”. Despite all its big talk, the Pak Army could not arrest Masood Azhar. It arrested Lakhvi only in January. Pakistan officially banned Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2002 but in practice, Lashkar-e- Taiba leader Hafiz Sayeed moved freely in Pakistan, even participating in a seminar in the office of a widely circulated Urdu daily of Pakistan after the ban. During the plenary of FATF in Paris, human rights activists, journalists, Pashtun and Uyghur activists protested outside the FATF office in Paris demanding that Pakistan be put in the Black list for promoting terrorism. Adil Qasim, the exiled Uyghur dissident, Fazal Rahman, Pashtun Rights activist and other activists said that Pakistan and China have economic friendship and use terrorism to kill Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities in their respective countries. They said that even if Pakistan promulgates laws to curb terrorism, it will not implement them. They also observed that the judiciary in Pakistan was working on the dictates of Pakistan Army which sponsors terrorism. Pakistan will have to take action against terrorists and terrorist organizations active on its soil and wipe out terrorism completely and it is possible only when it gives up using terrorism as a tool of strategic depth.

https://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-politics/new-age-islam-special-correspondent/pakistan-could-not-fool-fatf-with-its-half-measures-and-last-ditch-efforts-to-come-out-of-grey-list/d/124412

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