Washington has spent the past week lobbying member countries of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to place Pakistan on the so-called "grey list" of nations that are not doing enough to combat terrorism financing. That it has been operationalised, thanks to intense US pressure, is an encouraging signal of Indo-US bonding. The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the global financial system.
The US says Pakistan is not taking action against terror groups like the Haqqani network and the Taliban.
It may be recalled that Pakistan's foreign minister had claimed two days back that they had been given a three month reprieve.
At a meeting in Paris, the FATF on Thursday chose to place Pakistan on a so-called "grey list" of nations that are not doing enough to combat terrorism financing, after the Gulf Cooperation Council and China withdrew their opposition to the move.
Before the big decision, the FATF had reviewed Pakistan's action against the financing of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), two groups linked to Lashkar-e-Tayyaba founder Hafiz Saeed, that have been sanctioned by the UN Security Council. China has, for some time, been stalling United Nations sanctions against Saeed despite strong Indian objections.
The United States (US) and Britain had put forward a motion to place Pakistan on the FATF terrorist-financing watch list. He had also said that hard negotiations had paid off.
India Today said the terrorism task force made its decision to re-list Pakistan provisional, starting in June, to give Islamabad time to avoid being listed by cracking down further on militants.
Countries already on the grey list include North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Ethiopia.
Terming it a rare disagreement between Riyadh and the Trump administration, the WSJ, citing officials involved in the process, had reported that Saudi Arabia joined Turkey and China in a move to block the US-led attempt.
Pakistan Stock Exchange's benchmark KSE-100 index plummeted as much as 615 points by mid-day in intra-day trading after reports of placing the country on the watch list surfaced.
When China - along with the Gulf Cooperation Council - backed out of the effort to block the move, Pakistani officials appeared resigned. The spokesman underlined that the Trump administration pushing Pakistan on to the FATF grey list was clear violation of the FATF.