The FATF or the Financial Action Task Force is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 to act as a watchdog over the illegal circulation of currency and terrorism fundings.
The main motive of FATF is to act as a “policy making body” that would generate plans and set targets to curb the illegal circulations of money in the form of drug dealing, illegal supply of arms and weapons, and most importantly,,, terrorism fundings. FATF formed this task force during the G7 summit in Paris in 1989 with 16 members, which increased to 39 by 2021. After the attack of 9/11, this task force was given a mandatory status to act as a watchdog over money-laundering and terrorism fundings to maintain global peace.
The FATF lists countries into a black ( “call for action”) and a grey list depending on the seriousness of the suspected country’s ongoing illegal activities and circumstances. The FATF blacklist was introduced back in 2000 with the idea of listing the countries that are likely to be troublesome for global peace and was termed “Non- Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs).
According to its Wikipedia page, The FATF calls for action with a high-risk jurisdiction that includes reckless terrorist activities and uncontrollable illegal circulation of currency. To improve the situation and take action on the high-risked countries, The FATF calls the member countries. In a hearing, the accused are asked to defend themselves to keep relishing the international financial services. This applies only to the countries in the FATF blacklist, in which, to date, only two countries have taken place, namely, Iran and North Korea.
While The FATF Black List lists the countries that require close combat, the FATF Greylist, on the other hand, notes down those countries under suspicion and is kept under constant vigilance to avoid any worldwide disturbance, the countries listed in both lists have restricted access to international financial services.
Pakistan in FATF Grey List Once again; Why
Pakistan remains in FATF list
In 2018, Pakistan was levitated from the FATF grey list as it accomplished 26 objectives out of the 27 assigned by FATF members. The one plan that remained unattended was terrorism fundings. Pakistan was still accused of breeding global terrorist organizations identified by the UN. Hence, lifting Pakistan out of the vigilance is not a wise idea as decided by the 39 members of FATF.
As FATF President Marcus Player said, “Pakistan has taken a number of important steps but needs to further demonstrate that investigation and prosecutions are being pursued against the senior leadership of the UN designated terror groups.” Thus, the members of FATF came to a decision stating Pakistan remains under the vigilance of the watchdog but does not require to be listed in the blocklist.
The Financial Action Task Force keeps adding on and lifting out countries based on their activities. Just as the Player declared Pakistan still needs to be on the grey list, he recently added Turkey.
Turkey Joins Pakistan in The FATF Grey List- Bestfriend Goals!
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Imran Khan
The ties between Pakistan and Turkey are well known. From being a US alliance in the 1950s till in 2018, Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, took the initiative to promote the interests of Islam ‘ummah’. However, Saudi Arabia claimed that Pakistan’s efforts in promoting ummah were a direct clash with the leadership of ummah. This, in turn, came on Imran Khan as an accusation, and he chose to step back from the trilateral efforts. Even this did not strain the Pakistan-Turkey relationship. Imran Khan is now promoting Turkish culture in Pakistan.
Pakistan relied on Turkey to keep it off the FATF grey list for a long time, but what are the odds? They both ended up sharing a place on the list. Pakistan has been accused of breeding terrorist organizations like “Lashkar-e-Taiba” and “Jaish-e-Mohammad” against India. This retained Pakistan in the grey list all over again. The only solution that can levitate Pakistan out of the list is if India, one of the members of FATF, issues a clean chit with enough evidence stating Pakistan has no reason to be a threat, neither to India itself nor for global peace.
While Pakistan was accused of terrorism funding, Turkey, on the other hand, faced charges of money laundering and terrorism fundings both together. The World’s 17th largest economy and G20 member need to put a full stop to all the terrorist activities, illegal import and export of rare and expensive stones and gems, and most importantly, circulation of illegal currency to get itself out of the grey list.
Both Pakistan and Turkey are facing a domestic economic downfall as of now. Firstly the inflation affected the currency as the value of the Pakistani Rupee and Lira has dropped. Now, by getting enlisted in the grey list, they have restricted access to international financial services. Hence, FATF has provided Turkey with eight important objectives that it needs to fulfill to get itself lifted out of the list. This includes Anti Money-laundering and CFT (Combating Financing Terrorism). On the other hand, Pakistan has been kept under strict vigilance.
The sooner these two countries resolve the issues, the sooner it will determine their national financial status while reassuring global peace.
Article Proofread and Edited by Shreedatri Banerjee