OSINT Report: FATF likely to take Pakistan off the Hook in December | Security Risks Asia Made with Humane Club

OSINT Report: FATF likely to take Pakistan off the Hook in December

Published Jul 04, 2019
Updated Apr 10, 2020

Having hit a sweet spot with the United States, with perfunctory actions against terrorist financing, Pakistan is likely to remain in the FATF Grey List when that global grouping meets to consider actions taken on recommendations in the June meeting in Orlando, USA.

Projection by Pakistan of the tangible influence [or indispensability] that the country has on the Afghan Taliban with which the United States Special Envoy Mr Zalmay Khalilzad is holding the seventh round of talks in Doha, Qatar has made the Trump Administration which wants a deal as early as 1 September favourably inclined towards Islamabad.

Pakistan is benefiting from this perception, though how far it will be able to swing the Taliban remains to be seen?

Pakistan is likely to have assured winning over the Taliban for a comprehensive agreement to facilitate United States plan for a pullout from Afghanistan. The proverbial Trump Card so to say.

Gaining from the United States President’s push for for early solution to the Afghan imbroglio, Pakistan is also likely to be let off the hook by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) where the United States may weaken resistance despite India’s calls towards the same.

Here is a review of the developments that are pointers to this conclusion.

Pakistan’s Actions To Earn United States Pat

Ayesha Tanzeem, a Voice of America (VOA) correspondent reported on 04 July that Pakistani counterterrorism officials have registered 23 cases related to terrorism financing against more than a dozen people, including Hafiz Saeed, leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) and a key figure in the Mumbai attacks of 2008 that killed more than 170 people including American citizens.

The Eighth point in the strategic deficiencies highlighting by the FATF in June, in Orlando reads thus, (8) demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services;

Pakistan may claim to have met the above stipulation while acting on others with time up to December.

The US Sweet Spot for Pakistan

Ayaz Gul of VOA News reported on 04 July that U.S. President Donald Trump will host Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan who will be  on a five-day visit to Washington beginning July 20.

The meeting will end the acrimony over Pakistan’s actions to counter terrorism that has been ongoing in a Twitter repartee between the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the United States President Donald Trump for some time now.

The United States designated a major anti-Pakistan militant organization conducting attacks against local and foreign targets in the South Asian nation as a global terrorist on 02 July. Pakistan has promptly welcomed the move, which prohibits U.S. citizens from engaging in any transactions with members of the so-called Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) and all of their property in the U.S. are blocked.

“BLA is an armed separatist group that targets security forces and civilians, mainly in ethnic Baloch areas of Pakistan,” according to a U.S. State Department announcement.

Meanwhile The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has given Pakistan a $6 billion, three-year loan requested by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to help resuscitate the country’s ailing economy.

The strong US voice on the board of the Fund denotes clearance by Washington of the tranche of aid to Pakistan.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was successful in passage of the finance bill in the National Assembly after a majority voted in favour even as the opposition named the budget as the IMF Budget and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as Selected Prime Minister denoting his election with a narrow majority with the support of the Army.

The IMF loan apart from other support measures will ensure that Pak economy stays above the waters in the months to come and provide the Imran Khan government much needed breather ahead of moves by the political opposition to press home economic challenges that are faced by the people at large.

Mr Khan may hope that his visit to the United States which coincides with the protests by the Opposition may also prove effective in staving of the challenge on the ground.

It seems the stage for these developments was set by the visit of the Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to London, the UK acting as the proverbial facilitator in engaging between Pakistan and the United States. More about it later.

Also Read A Politically Hot July Awaits Pakistan’s Internal Space

Opposition parties and the government are gearing up for protests and no confidence motion against Senate Chairman in what will be a hot political July in Pakistan

India has been attempting to push the FATF for black listing Pakistan, given the current developments, New Delhi will have to work hard on the Americans to stick by their stand at Orlando and not dilute the same given that China will be heading the body in December, another factor of relief for Pakistan.