Pakistan's running out of time, could be blacklisted by FATF
It seems time is not in Pakistan's favor and the country could soon land in its worst-ever crisis. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog of terror financing, might downgrade Pakistan from its greylist and put it on the blacklist. A TOI report claimed FATF isn't satisfied with Pakistan's token action against home-grown terrorism and might take the tough call next month.
FATF was established in 1989 and is an intergovernmental body seeking to combat terror financing, money laundering, etc. Being blacklisted by FATF hurts a country's economy the worst. A blacklisted country fails to procure funds from international forums. Naturally, Pakistan which is struggling with its economy can't afford a demotion. However, despite the countdown and consequences, Pakistan's actions show it isn't quite serious.
In February, FATF agreed to keep Pakistan on its greylist but served a warning. Giving a 27-point list, the body asked the country to comply by it by October, underlining that its progress would decide the future course of action. FATF is scheduled to meet in Paris for a review, and the report added that so far it isn't impressed with Pakistan.
Till now, Pakistan has worked on only six points. In fact, the government, led by PM Imran Khan, has been able to locate five of the 100+ UN-designated terrorists flourishing on its soil. They have only managed to arrest Hafiz Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Further, the report added that Pakistan has seized 900 properties (including madrassas) for having connections with terror financing. Of them, 750 are somehow connected to Saeed's Falah-i-Insaniyat, and rest are linked with Jaish-e-Mohammed, founded by Masood Azhar. However, no case been registered against the owners. In fact, none of these "seized" properties function as camps where terrorists are trained.
In July, some 23 cases of terror funding were lodged and 65 active terrorists were named in them. Though Pakistan has been taking some action, it doesn't live up to the expectations of FATF. Earlier this month, The News reported that Pakistan is likely to seek the United States' intervention for relief from FATF. This confirms Pakistan knows its steps aren't upto the mark.
Meanwhile, a claim by India's Army Chief Bipin Rawat could also hurt Pakistan's prospects at FATF. On Monday, Rawat made a stunning statement that the Balakot camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed, which was bombed by Indian Air Force in February in response to Pulwama attack, has been "reactivated" again. Apparently, Pakistan's terrorists are being "pressurized" to "take action" against India after Article 370 move.