FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer
FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer | Pic Credit: FATF Twitter

Back in 1989, at the G-7 meeting in Paris, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America decided that, in order to counter the serious international threat of money laundering, an organization dedicated to the cause needed to be established. And, thus came about, the birth of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The main purpose of the organization was to counter money laundering, which also encompassed financing terror activities. Over the years, the organization has grown to include many other countries. The current membership includes 37 other countries.

So what are the different classifications within this organization that would decide any country’s future? There’s only two classifications, Grey and Black. Countries that don’t fall in these two categories are assumed to be in the clear. Some call this the white list, while nothing really called the White list exists.

Quite a few countries are in the Grey List while a very few have been black listed.

So, what are these classifications and how are these defined.

  1. Grey: Countries that support terror activities and are safe havens for money laundering are usually a part of this classification.
  2. Black: Countries that are considered Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCT) are members of this classification.

Pakistan has been a member of the Grey list for a few years now, first between 2012 and 2015 and again, since 2018 currently serving “it’s second term”.  The fear among many from India’s western neighbor is that they could end up in the black list.  So, what would happen to some one that is black listed.  There’s

a. Economic sanctions from IMF, World Bank and the ADB which includes getting loans from these organizations and countries

b. A marked reduction in international trade

c. An International boycott.


Talk, or listen to, any of India’s neighboring country’s people and (s)he will whine about India being the ONLY reason Pakistan is in the gray list and could end up in the black list.  It is surprising that they should feel so since prior to 2014, when the current Prime Minister took oath in India, they were already members of the very august “grey” list. If India, as claimed by Pakistan, has that much influence in who gets in, or out, of the grey list, their so-called “Friends for All Seasons” China is the current chairperson of the FATF.  How is it that China has not been able to get this supposedly “innocent” country out of the grey list?

While the whole world seemed to know the residential address of Dawood Ibrahim was in Pakistan, the city of Karachi to boot, Pakistan denied this.  Even when, a few years ago, Dawood’s daughter married the son of former Pakistan cricketer, Javed Miandad, they still claimed that Dawood was NOT in Pakistan!!  If this was not enough, Bin Laden was found in Abbottabad!! All of a sudden, they now say that they have realized Dawood’s in Pakistan!!! WOW!! Their intelligence bureau is doing it’s job as usual!!! When Pakistan now claims that they have never harbored terrorists, and that they have been bigger victims, it is laughable!! To claim that there’s a conspiracy to malign this country is even more laughable, given there’s really nothing one could covet within Pakistan!!!


India has shown the terror activities that have happened within Pakistan’s borders to the international community; whether, or not, they were funded by her neighbors is up for conjecture. That being said, 6 of Pakistan’s banks have been identified as enabling money laundering internationally, to the tune of over 2 million USD. The banks have been named, not just identified! This, in itself, is a big dent in Pakistan’s attempt to get out of the grey list and back on safe waters! After all, where was this money being spent and why was it laundered, in the first place? Some questions that would require careful examination of the money trail and where it actually ends up! Does this automatically implicate Pakistan? No, but it does leave them in a tricky and dicey situation, trying to disprove these findings! Does this benefit India in anyway? NO!! Infact, it hurts India as it wants to live in a neighborhood which is secure! After all, neighbors are forever!!


जय श्रीराम। जय सीयाराम। उत्तिष्ठ भारत। जय माँ भारती

God Bless the USA.

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