Pak on terror funding watch list: Behind the scene details on how lobbied
Pakistan stares at being placed on the Financial Action Task Force Grey list. If the resolution to place Pakistan on the global terrorist financing watchlist goes through then the country would be in a great deal of financial pain.
If the resolution is adopted then Pakistan would be placed on the FATF grey list of jurisdictions with deficient money laundering regimes. Incidentally Pakistan had found itself on the list between 2009 and 2015. The resolution was moved by the United States and backed by the UK, France and Germany. This would be the first time that four countries would have nominated a nation for censure.
Pakistan has already rushed its top officials to deliberate on the matter. However all the countries barring China are in favour of the resolution. Pakistan has been lobbying hard against the resolution, but has found no takers. While it hopes that China would come to its rescue, experts feel that the support from one nation would not be sufficient. It would depend on whether China would be able to influence the other countries to vote against the resolution, but for now that appears to be a distant possibility.
India would eagerly await the outcome of the FATF meet. India has always made a pitch about the terror funding in Pakistan and if the country gets into the grey list, it would be a victory for India.
India was aware that Pakistan would lobby hard. In fact Pakistan has been lobbying with Russia, China, Turkey and also members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. What has been a setback for Pakistan is that it has not been able to muster support even from the Muslim nations so far.
There has been hectic activity in the background in the run up to this meeting. India on January 31 had sent a secretary level delegation to Russia. During those meetings, India persuaded Russia not to support Pakistan. Even during the visit by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi to Gulf nations, he had managed to impress upon them not to back Pakistan. It appeared to have paid off and Pakistan has not been able to convince any of the nations except China about the resolution.
Meanwhile Pakistan has sent adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister, Dr Miftah Ismail to Paris. He would plead the case of Pakistan at the ongoing session. In fact this was not a planned decision and Miftah was sent abruptly.
India's stance clear:
India said that some countries had proposed to put Pakistan in the grey list. "There is a proposal by some countries, as a part of the FATF process, to put Pakistan in the grey list. The grey listing happens because the commitment which was given by Pakistan on actions it was supposed to take, that has not happened," external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Kumar said India has shared its views with the countries and members of the FATF on this matter.
The US has also approached the FATF to put Pakistan on global terrorist-financing watch list, accusing Islamabad of not complying with the UN Security Council resolutions relating to terror groups, including al-Qaida and its affiliates.
The FATF is an inter-governmental body, which maintains "grey" and "black" lists to identify countries with weak measures to combat money laundering and terror financing. Inclusion in the grey list can lead to sanctions.