By Dr Shahid Qureshi: –
On 25 June 2021, FATF (Financial Action Task Force) kept Pakistan on so called ‘grey list’ even it has met 26 conditions out 27 on which work in progress. It is quite evident that FATF like other international bodies created by the colonial powers alliance has geo political agendas rather than a technical entity trying to enforce transparency in banking and financial systems.
“In the absence of transparency and corruption in Banking systems in Swiss Banks and elsewhere how is it possible for any country to meet the high-level requirements of the so called FATF (Financial Action Task Force). Swiss Banks are charging 2% to keeping the mostly ‘corruption’ money in their secret banking system and lending further for 4% and getting 6% for almost doing nothing. How is it possible for any state or country to stop corruption and meet the FATF requirements when Banks are behaving badly in Europe and Switzerland? Sometimes your question is more important and relevant than answers of some experts.
I asked the above question at the Eurasian Media Forum on 23 May 2019 in Almaty, Kazakhstan in its first session. The Forum launched into a high-level discussion on whether, after years of globalization, the world was headed for a reverse process of ‘de-globalization’. The six panellists generally rejected the suggestion, predicting instead a kind of ‘new globalization’.
Moderator Ghida Fakhry, Presenter TRT World/Moderator Doha Debates, President Armen Sarkissian of Armenia, Dr Baige Zhao, Vice Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Commission of China’s National People’s Congress, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia, Tatyana Valovaya, Minister in charge of Development and Macroeconomics, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), Sir Ivan Rogers, the United Kingdom’s former Permanent Representative to the European Union (EU), and Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“On 26 June 2021, The Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said that ‘out of 27 technical items of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan, Pakistan had already achieved 26 points whereas substantial progress was made on the remaining target.
In a press statement, the foreign minister expressed his wonder over the FATF decision of still keeping Pakistan in its grey list. “In my view, under such situation, there is no need to keep Pakistan in the grey list,” he added. Qureshi said it would be adjudged whether the FATF was a technical forum or political one and whether it was used for any political purposes. The FATF itself admitted that Pakistan had achieved 26 points in the plan of action, he said, adding the country was committed to fully implement the remaining one. “Some powers wanted FATF’s sword hanging on our heads,” he said.
He further categorically maintained that they had taken all the steps in their interests which included elimination of money laundering and financing of terrorism. The foreign minister reiterated that Pakistan was committed to take steps which were in its interest. The FATF in its meeting on Friday announced that Pakistan had largely complied with 26 of the 27 items on the action plan, but kept the country on grey list, even after it addressed the sole remaining item. The decision had raised eyebrows and drew wider criticism in the country, APP reported.
Former Governor of Mexico and US Ambassador to UNSC H.E Bill Richardson agreed with me in EAMF 2017 in Astana that: Banks are non-state actors and fuelling terrorism’.
Coming back to the double standards of the FATF, USA and western governments about ‘freedom of speech’ or money laundering and terrorist financing it is always pick and choose. Julian Assange could be jailed for ‘exposing corruption’ and Indian could be ignored in its role in terrorist financing and exporting terrorism in neighbouring countries be it Pakistan or Sri Lanka. The arrest, confession and conviction of Indian Navy officer and RAW agent Kubhushan Yadave, operating from Iranian port city of Chabhar for terrorist financing and exporting terrorism in Pakistan was completely ignored by the US, EU and FATF.
The case is pending outcome in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the moment where Indian Government have completely failed to establish the identity of its citizen who living in Iran and was issued an Indian passport with the Muslim name of ‘Mubarak Hussain Patel’. He travelled to Delhi multiple times from Iran and also inside Pakistan.
I have written about it before that FATF must handover all the Pakistani money launderers living abroad as well as the stolen wealth back to Pakistan before becoming a joke.
According to FATF sources: “Pakistan is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).
For more information about the assessment of the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) measures in Pakistan, please consult the APG website (www.apgml.org):
The FATF Recommendations, the international anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and proliferation (AML/CFT) standards, and the FATF Methodology to assess the effectiveness of AML/CFT systems.
- FATF Recommendations 2012
- Methodology 2013
- Procedures for the FATF Fourth Round of AML/CFT Mutual Evaluations
Guidance on Criminalising Terrorist Financing
Guidance on Criminalising Terrorist Financing Download pdf ( 1,681kb)
To stop the financing of terrorism, countries must start by making it a crime to finance terrorist acts, terrorists, or terrorist organisations.
FATF Recommendation 5 provides measures to assist countries in fulfilling the legal requirements of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (the Terrorist Financing Convention) , and relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. In addition, FATF Recommendation 5 goes beyond the international legal obligation to further strengthen the measures that countries should have at their disposal to disrupt terrorist financing.
The Guidance on Criminalising Terrorist Financing will help countries implement each of the requirements of Recommendation 5. It explains the various aspects that the terrorist financing offence must cover in national legal systems.
The Guidance emphasises that countries have significant flexibility in determining how they implement each requirement in their national legal system, given that countries have diverse legal, administrative and operational frameworks and different financial systems. The Guidance includes a number of country examples which illustrate how countries with different legal systems have criminalised terrorist financing.
Regardless of the methods that countries have chosen to implement Recommendation 5, the FATF will assess the extent to which they have successfully and effectively implemented this standard, and with it fulfilled their legal obligations pursuant to the Terrorist Financing Convention and relevant UNSCRs.
The FATF attaches a great importance to the fight against corruption: corruption has the potential to bring catastrophic harm to economic development, the fight against organized crime, and respect for the law and effective governance.
The G20 called upon the FATF to address the problem of corruption in the framework of its work on combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Corruption and money laundering are intrinsically linked. Corruption offences, such as bribery or theft of public funds, are generally committed for the purpose of obtaining private gain. Money laundering is the process of concealing illicit gains that were generated from criminal activity.
The FATF Recommendations were designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, but when effectively implemented they can also help combat corruption, by:
- safeguarding the integrity of the public sector
- protecting designated private sector institutions from abuse
- increasing transparency of the financial system
- facilitating the detection, investigation and prosecution of corruption and money laundering, and the recovery of stolen assets.
All in all, it is FATF responsibility to implement its standards of all banks and financial institutions which are providing safe heavens to the corrupt and criminals to steal their country’s wealth and deposit in the Western and Swiss Banks as well as tax free safe havens. Like other so called international institutions including UN, FATF seems to be a tool of former colonial western powers involved in exploitations, loots and plundering of countries world wide. No?
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international Presidential election observer for Kazakhstan, 2019, 2016 and 2015, Azerbaijan 2020, 2018 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He did his MA from Government College Lahore. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University and visiting professor in Hebe University in China.)
Views expressed are not of The London Post