By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

While praising Pakistan and admiring Pakistan’s achievements on the status of implementations of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recommendations, FATF President Dr. Marcus Pleyer said that Pakistan will remain on the grey list till the next session. There were no considerations of pushing Pakistan to the black list, as Pakistan is cooperating satisfactorily. Pakistan has full-filled most of the requirements and has already implemented 32 recommendations out of 34. Only two more recommendations are to be implemented before it is moved out of the grey list.

Although Pakistan is seriously implementing the recommendations suggested by FATF, scared that even Pakistan implements all recommendations, yet, may not be removed out from the grey list. As a matter of fact, FATF has become a political tool for coercion and pressurizing to achieve political goals. The fact is that Pakistan’s financial system is much better than many countries in the world, and yet kept in the grey list, is not a merit-based principle decision. Those countries that are openly corrupt and involved in terror finance, money laundering, and financial mismanagement, are still not put on the grey or black list.

India is involved in money laundering, there are official reports that many Indian Banks are clearly involved in money laundering. India is funding terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bangladesh, but no one in the FATF asked to put India in Grey or the black list.

The US was funding Mujahideen in the 1980s, to fight against USSR, currently, they are funding terrorist outfits in Syria, Afghanistan, and many other countries to fight against their legitimate governments, but, no one in FATF is asking to put the US in grey or black list.

Many other countries like the UK, Israel, and etc are openly intervening in other countries’ internal affairs and funding terrorist organizations, but, still enjoying FATF.

Looking at the list of countries in the grey or black list, one can reach a conclusion, that, only political adversaries are put on the grey or black list. All nations, having good relations with the US are never questioned. Obviously, FATF has been used as a political tool to punish political adversaries. FATF has lost its credibility and reputation and is used only in the hands of the US for coercing a few adversaries.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was established in July 1989 by a Group of Seven (G-7) Summit in Paris, initially to examine and develop measures to combat money laundering. In October 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to incorporate efforts to combat terrorist financing, in addition to money laundering. In April 2012, it added efforts to counter the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Since its inception, the FATF has operated under a fixed lifespan, requiring a specific decision by its Ministers to continue. Three decades after its, creation, in April 2019, FATF Ministers adopted a new, open-ended mandate for the FATF. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory, and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. Starting with its own members, the FATF monitors countries’ progress in implementing the FATF Recommendations; reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures; and, promotes the adoption and implementation of the FATF Recommendations globally.

Looking at the performance of FATF, one can reach the conclusion that, this organization is not performing its real objectives and transformed into a bias political tool merely. It is time to reform, it is time to reassess the performance of this organization, it is time to evaluate and audit this organization. All member states are appealed to raise their voice to restore the reputation of the organization, rule of principle and law, merit-based decisions, and fair judgments.

It is desired that all nations and individuals must struggle to reform the FATF to achieve its real objectives, above politics and discrimination.


Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

 

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