The world’s terrorism financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), has yet again placed Pakistan on the grey list of the countries which it deems to have been unable in curbing terror financing effectively. Earlier, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had alerted Pakistan to take concrete steps against banned groups to avert possible tough sanctions in June this year alerting that the country might end up on the blacklist of the countries’ failing to prevent terror financing. So far as FATF blacklist is concerned it lists countries which it judges to be non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, calling them “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs).
Pakistan was officially placed on the watchdog’s grey list on Wednesday during a FATF’s meeting held in Paris. The watchdog had claimed that Islamabad had failed to act against terror financing on its soil. Former chairman of the Senate and PPP leader Mian Raza Rabbani while reacting to FATF decision of putting Pakistan on its grey list has termed the action as unfortunate saying that it serves as a disincentive for the country’s fight against terrorism. He said, “Pakistan, its armed forces, people and civil armed forces have paid a price which no one else has paid in the world in the fight against terrorism. Such an action by FATF smacks of bias and it is an attempt to intimidate the state of Pakistan”. It goes without saying that anti-Pakistan lobbies abroad have been using it as stick to beat Pakistan at international level despite the fact that Pakistan has taken a number of initiatives to address the international community’s concerns in this regard.
It was in this response that Pakistani authorities had launched a massive crackdown on banned groups after the FATF issued a warning to put Pakistan in February this year. Experts on the subject are of the view that the decision will be a great setback for Islamabad’s efforts to improve its soft-image at international level besides having adverse impact on the country’s fragile economy. There is a dire need that people at the helm of affairs should look into the matter and see what steps should be taken to address the international community’s concerns besides devising a comprehensive policy to counter anti-Pakistan propaganda. It is an established fact that there are certain anti-Pakistan lobbies that are hectically engaged at international level to debase Pakistan and downplay the country’s indomitable role in war against terror. The fact is that Pakistan has always shown its readiness to tackle this issue head on. At domestic level the government of Pakistan has taken numerous steps to address these issues and is ready to take further measures to address any remaining shortcomings but international community must acknowledge the unprecedented role and sacrifices Pakistan as a nation has played in global campaign against war on terror. Any attempt to sideline Pakistan in the international arena will be tantamount to weaken the Pakistan’s counter terrorism efforts.