After rigorous deliberations, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to keep Pakistan in the grey list sidelining India’s demand for placing the country in black list.
Despite lobbying from India and submitting of a dossier against Pakistan and it’s agencies’ culpability in the Pulwama terror attack, the FATF had decided to keep Pakistan in the ‘Grey List’ which it was in since June 2018.
As per the 2018 decision of FATF, Pakistan need to implement a 27-point action plan by September 2019.
What Is FATF?
The Financial Action Task Force was established in 1989 to combat money laundering and terror financing and any other activities that might threaten international financial system.
- It currently has 37 members including India.
- The organisation sets standards, provides policy support, and help members countries in implementation of policies.
- It has also developed international standards for combating proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
- The apex decision making body of the FATF, the FATF plenary hold meetings three times a year.
How the FATF Listing Affects?
FATF categorises countries other than its members into two lists – the grey list and the black list.
Countries in the black list are non cooperative countries and/or supporting money laundering or terror financing actively. They may be tax havens too.
Grey list countries are given warning by the FATF.
These countries find it difficult to get loans from international financial organisations.
They might get downgraded by the international credit rating agencies thereby affecting foreign investments in them.
Also, other countries might not want to trade with them.
Pakistan and The Grey List
Pakistan was so far placed twice in the grey list.
It is needed to implement the 27-point action plan to get itself removed from the list.
Else, IMF may halt its financial support to the country and other international lending agencies might follow the same route.
It will cripple Pakistan’s economy which is already reeling under heavy debt, high unemployment and rising population.
What is In It For India?
India, as part of its diplomatic isolation of Pakistan internationally lobbied hard for putting it in the black list. But FATF, after deliberate discussions placed the country in grey list. already Indian govt. withdrawn the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for Pakistan.
But at the UN, India has succeeded in making the UNSC put up a statement condemning the Pulwama attack and naming Jaish-e-Muhammad in it much to the disliking of China which supports Pakistan.
The escalation between the two countries seems tom raising by the day but India’s diplomatic isolation moves will affect Pakistan only to a certain extent.
A strong and visible message to Pakistan and the world must be sent that India will act against elements that affects its integrity.