FTAF Relief unlikely to bring Change of Heart in Pakistan

Pakistan suffered around Rs3 lakh crore in financial losses for supporting terrorism

By K.S. Tomar

The final verdict of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to take Pakistan out of the ‘Grey List’ may be a piece of good news for the country battered with devastating floods and growing internal dissent in all walks of life but it is likely to bring any change of heart in the establishment of Pakistan, a factory of global terrorism.

Tough-talking by Indian minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar at the meeting of the United Nation’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (UN-CTC) was a hint that India stands vigilant against all threats emerging from Pakistan and also warns the world at large the same.

China and its allies like Turkey, Singapore, etc. quietly worked to take their friend Pakistan out of the Grey list but the changing role of the United States made a lot of difference as it tried to wean away Pakistan from the clutches of China. The U.S. visit of Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa sealed the deal with obvious quid-pro-quo.

Pakistan got isolated from the rest of the world and suffered an estimated loss of Rs.3 lakh crores but the decision of FATF to take it out of the Grey List may prevent it from going to Sri Lanka just in the nick of time. It is likely to start getting assistance from different nations and bodies like International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asian Development Bank (ADB), etc.

New Delhi is skeptical about the changing approach of the world and sought to flag this through proposals at the UNSC for the designating Abdul Rehman Makki and more recently, of Saeed’s son Talha Saeed, and LeT deputy head Shahid Mehmood as global terrorists but could not get through due to Chinese support to Pakistan. Understandably, India’s interests lie in playing the long game in these diplomatic battles with the goal of making the region more stable and secure.

Pakistan’s removal from the Grey List will definitely act as a big morale booster for its sagging economy besides giving a fillip to its imports, exports, remittances, and limit to access to international loans.

Foreign direct investment had almost come to naught except for China after it was put on the Grey List as a suspected terror funding nation by FATF. 206 members of the global network and observers including IMF, the United Nations, and the world bank were part of the decision which took Pakistan off the list.

Keeping in view its track record in giving shelter and financial support to extremists, the majority of the 39 FATF members may keep a vigil on its fulfillment of the commitment not to encourage terrorists from its soil.

But getting away from the policy of terror export is going to be a “long march” for Pakistan and it is unlikely that there will be any change of heart despite the world taking a sympathetic view of its misery for the time being.

(The writer is a senior journalist based in Shimla, India.)

Images courtesy of (Image: Twitter/ @FarhanIrfanKhan) and Provided

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