Ever since, Prime Minister Imran Khan has been in a race against time to avoid Pakistan’s inclusion in the FATF black-list. Seeking to wriggle out of the grey list, last year the country’s federal government imposed financial sanctions on 88 banned terror groups and their leaders, including the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack.
Khan has expressed deep unease over the potential consequences of Pakistan’s failure to deliver on the 27 point action-plan as much as he has been worried over opposition parties politicizing the issue. “Going on the blacklist would mean sanctions, our economy crashing; we were hoping opposition would jointly pass legislation for FATF because it’s for Pakistan, not [our] personal interest” Pakistan is reported saying following a round of voting on new domestic legislation designed to address the 27 point action-plan.
India accelerated its lobbying against Pakistan during the four-day virtual meeting of the FATF two months ago.
Measures adopted by Khan’s government has eased some of the pressure. In October last year, FATF said that Pakistan had successfully complied with 21 out of 27 points of the action plan but nonetheless it decided to keep the country on its grey list until February 2021. This was a decisive moment when things were expected to come to a head. India accelerated its lobbying against Pakistan during the four-day virtual meeting of the FATF two months ago.
“It’s not that Pakistan is not trying hard to get out of the grey list, but the lobbying against the country by India is very strong,” a Pakistani representative in the FATF was reported saying to Anadolu Agency. The official also pointed to a vast network of hundreds of “fake media” outlets serving “Indian interests”. The official cited a Brussels-based watchdog, EU DisinfoLab, which uncovered a network of 265 coordinated fake local media outlets in 65 countries “serving Indian interests” and “undermining Pakistan”, as well as multiple dubious think-tanks and NGOs.