In black and white

The retention of Pakistan on the ‘grey list’ by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) reaffirms that the incomplete and half-hearted actions of Pakistan in the fight against terror financing couldn’t convince the global watchdog, and quite rightly so. I am reminded of what Abraham Lincoln said: “You can fool all people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. The writing was on the wall with the lame submissions of Islamabad like that of Masood Azhar being “missing”, and unanswered questions on matters like why terrorist financiers were imprisoned for only a few days. Pakistan would now do well to comply with the action plan of the FATF not only for ensuring peace and security in the subcontinent but also in its own interest, given its oft-repeated claim that it is a victim of terrorism itself.

B. Harish,

Mavelikara, Kerala

It is quite perplexing that “even Indian government officials” took the stand that “placing Pakistan on the ‘black list’ might prove counter-productive” on the specious grounds that “it (Pakistan) would not be incentivised to complete the action plan under a deadline” (Front page, “Pakistan retained on ‘grey list’ of FATF,” Feb. 22). This is not the first time Pakistan is placed on the grey list. It was on grey list for three years during 2012-2015, put back on the list again in June 2018 and where it has remained since then. It is obvious that so far being ‘grey-listed’ has not incentivised Pakistan to complete the action plan given by Financial Action Task Force, though several deadlines and more than one and half years have elapsed since the date of latest listing. Though it is evident that Pakistan is unwilling to complete the FATF action plan to curb the mushrooming of terror funding and money laundering, extending the deadline again upto June 2020 appears to be a decision taken based not on ground realities, but on the basis of extraneous factors. As pointed by The Hindu editorial earlier (January 27), “there is no doubting that geopolitics and bilateral deals play a part in deciding outcomes” at the FATF’s plenary sessions. Given these geopolitical realities, Pakistan may very well remain on grey list with continuously shifting deadlines, without actually dismantling any of the terror networks on its soil, and India may continue to face the menace of cross-border terrorism.

Kosaraju Chandramouli,



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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:24:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/in-black-and-white/article30897553.ece

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