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FATF needs to open Pakistan's Pandora Papers leaks to stop terror finance networks

ANI | Updated: Dec 11, 2021 04:29 IST


Islamabad [Pakistan], December 11 (ANI): The global anti-terror watchdog - Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will open Pakistan's Pandora Papers leaks to reveal the nexus of the financial shenanigans, the money laundering operations and the covering up of terror finance networks being run by the Pakistan Army using shady businessmen and dodgy politicians.
Federico Giuliani, writing in Inside over said that it is nothing short of a travesty that the Pandora Papers Leaks did not open a Pandora's Box in Pakistan.
It may be recalled that it is precisely these AML/CFT networks that prompted the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to place Pakistan under 'increased monitoring' or the "Grey List" in 2018.
After Pakistan was put on the grey list, it has purportedly taken a slew of measures to fulfil the "high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies".
But most of these measures, especially the ones that involve curbing financial networks of terror groups closely linked to or working for the Pakistani state have been largely untouched.
For throwing dust into the eyes of the FATF, Pakistan even instituted cases against UN-designated terrorists like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed and some of his close associates.

In very hasty trials -necessitated by the FATF calendar - the lower courts even convicted Saeed and his associates for various jail terms. That the trial courts convicted these terrorists in a matter of days should have set alarm bells ringing in the FATF in Paris, said Giuliani.
Nothing proves this more than the Pandora Paper leaks. If the action items related to money laundering and tightening of the financial system had indeed been completed, then either there would have been no Pandora Papers leaks, or the state would have moved into action to question the people whose names figured in these leaks, reported Inside over.
"That has not happened. The reason as said earlier, there are half a dozen top armed forces officers whose names figure in the list and around a dozen people who are either part of the Imran Khan regime or are closely related to people who are in the Imran Khan government," Giuliani wrote.
Clearly, it is the same "see nothing, say nothing, do nothing" attitude that is adopted when it comes to other AML/CFT networks that are linked to the Pakistani State and 'deep state', he added.
On the ground, the AML/CFT networks remain virtually untouched and have been allowed to carry on business as usual. If FATF is serious then it must insist not just on action points but also ensure that these lead to the fulfilment of the 'immediate outcomes' (IOs).
As far as these IOs are concerned, Pakistan's performance, as per FATF itself is dismal. The third Follow Up Report of the Mutual Evaluation of Pakistan issued in July 2021 reveals that out of 10 immediate Outcomes, Pakistan has a low rating in 9 IOs and a moderate rating in just 1 IO, reported Inside over.
The Pandora Papers stands testimony to the fact that even as per FATF's own criteria, Pakistan has failed. (ANI)

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