Arm twisting once again

n a twitter message Ms Alice Wells, assistant Secretary of the US State Department Bureau for South Asia and Central Asian affairs, appreciated Pakistan’s recent measures for militancy control but once again urged for doing more to stop militants from operating within its borders. She expressed partial satisfaction over the arrest of four leaders of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Jumat-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed but emphasized that they should be prosecuted and put on trial. The accusative part of the tweet is important keeping in view the situation in occupied Kashmir and current four day session of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris.
FATF in its Plenary Session will deliberate over the third mid-term review report of its regional body, Asia Pacific Group (APG) to ascertain how far Pakistan has made progress on the implementation of the global watch dog formulated 27 points action plan to make the anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing regimes. The APG review report is not fairly favourable towards Pakistan. It shows that Pakistan did not comply on four out of 40 recommendations for curbing money laundering and curbing terror financing. It also highlights partial progress on other key points of the action. The Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) strongly contested this report and mentioned certain gaps and inefficiencies in it. It does not include the measures taken for curbing money laundering from October, 2018 and onwards.
If FATF decides to retain Pakistan on the greylist for a further period then it will negatively impact the national economy which is moving forward on the stabalisations path. Remaining on the grey list will tighten risk profile of Pakistan and some foreign financial institutions will find it difficult to do transactions with banks of the country. It will also shy away multilateral donor agencies from extending liberal financial assistance to the cash strapped Pakistan. The Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tersa Daban Sanchez had cautioned in a seminar in Islamabad against the greylist impact on the current Extend Fund Facility of the donor agency. By virtue of its 70 percent voting rights in this global lending agency, tight rope walking shall be needed to ensure smooth release of next tranches of $.billion three years IMF loan programme as application of carrot and stick has been on Pakistan has been the corner stone of the US foreign policy for South Asia.