The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has retained Pakistan under the Grey List, warning Islamabad of serious actions for failing to check money laundering and terror financing.
Pakistan has failed to meet 22 out of 27 tasks to control funding to terror groups operating from its soil. FATF has now granted Islamabad time till February 2020 to fulfil the full action plan.
Pakistan escaped the blacklist with the backing of Turkey, Malaysia and China. India is clearly upset that Islamabad has been given another four months to achieve all the targets to get itself off the grey list.
As part of punitive action to express displeasure over Ankara's stance on the abrogation of Article 370 and support to Pakistan at FATF plenary in Paris, India has called off Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to Turkey.
India is also weighing a range of diplomatic actions against Malaysia which may include restricting imports of palm oil and other goods.
If Islamabad fails to make significant progress in the next four months, it will join North Korea and Iran on the FATF blacklist which would have huge impact on its already fragile economy.
Since the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan has been crying foul over Kashmir to seek the attention of global leaders, but most leaders supported India calling Kashmir a bilateral issue between the two neighbours.
Within hours of FATF Plenary, Pakistan tried to export terror into India violating the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. In retaliation, the Indian Army destroyed three terror camps in PoK.
The country has accused India of pushing Pakistan on the blacklist with the help of some countries. FATF 2020 deadline is critical for Pakistan. Rather than engaging in cross-border terrorism and blaming India for everything, Islamabad should take sustainable actions against terrorist groups within its territory.
There are high chances of Pakistan being formally blacklisted by FATF once the February 2020 deadline expires. The need of the hour is to address the issues of terror-funding and money laundering so that it doesn't miss last chance to exit the FATF grey list.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)