Terrorism and Challenges Related To It

[op-ed snap] The screws tighten


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FATF

Mains level : Terror funding


  • Pakistan escaped for the moment from the black list of the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that acts against terror financing in the world.

Implications of the event

  • It reinforces Delhi’s critics, who believe Pakistan can’t be “isolated” even if its army brazenly violates its international legal commitments on fighting terrorism.
  • Criticism arises from the fact that the government had mounted a sustained campaign in the last few years to apply the existing international norms against money laundering and terror financing on Pakistan.

FATF listing

  • It puts countries on notice and seeks time-bound compliance with a range of FATF benchmarks.
  • If countries fail to comply, they get on to a blacklist that calls on nations to take additional measures against financial transactions involving Pakistan’s jurisdiction.
  • At the moment, only two countries are on the blacklist — Iran and North Korea.

Pakistan and FATF

  • Pakistan was first put on the grey list in 2012 but got off it in 2015 when the FATF and its procedures caught India’s serious political interest.
  • The intense Indian effort resulted in Pakistan being put on the grey list again in 2018.
  • FATF acknowledged that Pakistan is in full compliance with only five of the 27 benchmarks Islamabad had to address.
  • The FATF has issued a stern warning to Pakistan that it could get to the black list if there was no progress by February 2020.

Limitations of FATF

  • There is no guarantee that Pakistan will pay the price four months down the road.
  • FATF is a multilateral mechanism where bilateral political considerations do impact on the outcomes. Pakistan can thank China, Turkey and Malaysia, whose support helped it escape the black list.
  • There is nothing to suggest that the Pakistan policies of the three countries might change any time soon.


  • India’s effort has generated international pressure on Pakistan Army’s support to cross-border terrorism.
  • Sustaining the international mobilisation also turns harsh light on China who talks about opposing terrorism and improving ties with India but refuses to walk the talk.
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