US, NATO gift Pakistan FATF grey list relief for Afghanistan tradeoff


Photo credit Twitter Pakistan Embassy France

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, October 21: The US visit of the Pakistani Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Germany tour of the Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari this month had scripted relief for Islamabad from the grey listing by the Financial Action Task Force for terror linkages.

The FATF President Raja Kumar on Friday announced satisfaction of the financial watchdog on steps taken by Pakistan against terror funding following onsite investigations. Kumar said that Pakistan had been on an increased monitoring, which is known as the grey list, for four years now.

Predictably, there was jubilation in Pakistan over the FATF relief, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Zaradari rejoicing at the decision of the financial watchdog. Pakistan can now hope to access the financial aides from the developed world to tide over the economic crisis at home. It has been stated that the US and the NATO members worked out the deal to give the relief to Pakistan after it became imminent that the Islamic country was on the verge of bankruptcy on the lines of Sri Lanka after the super floods unleashed devastating trails in the country.

The deal that the US has struck with Pakistan essentially is about Islamabad protecting the geostrategic interests of Washington in Afghanistan. The US had literally to run away from Kabul after abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban. But the US became aware that Russia and China would soon ride Pakistan to gain the deep strategic hold in Afghanistan. That made the Joe Biden administration to agree to admit Pakistan in its club. Sharif was at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and he had also met the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Within the Indian diplomatic community, the decision of the FATF has come as a setback, as Pakistan continues to be a terror laboratory and no action till date has been taken against the perpetrator of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. At the behest of Pakistan, China has used its technical hold to block designations of terrorists enjoying safe haven in Pakistan.

It may be recalled one of the reasons for the ouster of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan from the office was his failure to take his country out of the grey list of the FATF. Khan had called on Putin on a day Russia had launched its invasion of Ukraine.

Pakistan’s economy survives on the largess of the developed world, while the Islamic nation has been bailed out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on several occasions. The US and other NATO countries have been wary of the fact that the economic collapse of Pakistan would unleash chaos, which could jeopardize their interests in the strategically important region. With Pakistan staying in the grey list of FATF, the US and its allies wouldn’t have been able to keep the Islamic nation economically afloat.

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1 thought on “US, NATO gift Pakistan FATF grey list relief for Afghanistan tradeoff

  1. Great coverage with complete details on how and why FATF gave relief to Pakistan from Grey list for Terror funding.
    – U.S and NATO saving their interest works in favor of Pakistan’s survival
    – This is is really bad for India whereas no action taken from international community on 26/11.
    – We need to see what India does and how we manage in International community economically and safeguard against Terror.

    A must read article for all.

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