- Reprieved for four months
In yet another display of sheer inefficiency, the PTI government is likely to have Pakistan painted into a corner while exposing its economy to hazards never faced before. Without mincing words, the FATF’s Chinese President Xiangmin Liu has warned that if by February 2020 the country has not made significant progress, FATF would consider further actions, which potentially will include placing the country on the blacklist. As the mutual evaluation report shows, of the 40 recommendations of the FATF on curbing money laundering and combating terror financing, Pakistan was fully compliant only on one. It was “largely compliant” on nine, “partially compliant” on 26 and “non-compliant” on four recommendations. To overcome the deficiencies, the PTI’s less than competent administration will have to undertake a Houdini act. With Prime Minister Imran Khan fully focused on political vendetta more than anything else, it is doubtful if his government would be able to perform in four months what it failed to accomplish in 15. The government, it appears, has reconciled with the grey status. Despite inclusion in black list looming ahead, the PM still remains focused on stoking political tensions by inciting the opposition with snide remarks and challenging it to hold a sit-in longer than a week.
Pakistan was put on the grey list a second time on June 29, 2018. It was given 15 months for implementation of the 27-point action plan with a warning that in case of failure the country would be added to the blacklist comprising countries branded as uncooperative and tax havens for terror funding. The inclusion in the black list will seriously undermine Pakistan’s prospects for attracting investments. Transaction with other countries will be subject to more levels of scrutiny by banks, both time consuming and expensive. This can discourage companies from doing business with Pakistan.
Railways Minister Sh. Rashid feels solace in the idea of the COAS and the PM acting in unison like two wheels in a vehicle, presumably a bike. Claims of the sort are likely to create the perception of both being equally responsible for the problems facing the country, created in fact by the PTI administration. There is a dire need for the ruling party’s guardians to be seen as neutral.