The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is all set to decide on Pakistan’s grey list status in a virtual meeting scheduled later this month. Ahead of the meeting, a Pakistani content creator and social media influencer Waqar Zaka is appealing the country’s public to tweet hashtags so that ‘Naya’ Pakistan, despite which is known as ‘epicentre of terrorism’, can escape blacklisting by the FATF.
‘We will be ruined’
Waqar Zaka has posted several tweets and videos in last one week, appealing to people and Pakistani celebrities to post tweets under hashtag #FATFWhiteListPakistan. The ‘influencer’ has over 3.25 lakh followers on Twitter including several Pakistani political leaders and Chinese diplomat Lijian Zhao. According to ANI, in one of the videos that he posted on Saturday, Zaka said that Pakistan would be doomed if it gets blacklisted.
“Please keep the issue of TikTok ban aside, we need to focus on this issue and it will benefit Pakistan. The Indian government is trying hard to make sure Pakistan gets blacklisted. We will be ruined. Keep all the work aside for 10 days and start tweeting. Ask the elders and others to pray for Pakistan and make announcements regarding it. Prayers can save us if we are getting blacklisted,” Zaka said in one of the videos.
In several videos, he has also tried to instigate people in the name of India saying if they will not tweet, their enemy will win.
FATF all set to decide on Pakistan’s grey list status
The Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog had placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action to curb money laundering and terror financing by the end of 2019 but the deadline was extended later on due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Seeking to wriggle out of the FATF’s grey list, debt-ridden Pakistan in August imposed financial sanctions on 88 banned terror groups and their leaders, including 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
The virtual FATF plenary scheduled for October 21-23 will decide if Pakistan should be excluded from its grey list, based on a review of Islamabad’s performance to meet global commitments and standards on the fight against money laundering and terror financing (ML&TF), the Dawn News reported.
The meeting was earlier scheduled in June but Islamabad got an unexpected breather after the global watchdog against financial crimes temporarily postponed all mutual evaluations and follow-up deadlines in the wake of grave health risk following COVID-9 pandemic, it said.
With Pakistan’s continuation in the ‘grey list’, it is increasingly becoming difficult for the country to get financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the nation which is in a precarious financial situation.
If the FATF in its meeting finds that Pakistan has failed to meet its requirements, there is every possibility that the global body may put the country in the ‘Black List’ along with North Korea and Iran. In August, Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned that if blacklisted at the FATF, Pakistan’s entire economy will be destroyed due to inflation and a massive fall in Pakistani Rupee.
(With PTI inputs)