Pakistani editorials lay blame for terror watchdog ‘greylisting’ country squarely on Islamabad

NEW DELHI: Editorials in Pakistani newspapers blame Pakistan and Pakistan alone for being demoted to the ‘grey list’ by Paris-based global terrorist watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF).They said the Wednesday greylisting – for failing to curb anti-terror financing – was a “self-inflicted” act and that’s what’s to be expected when terrorists “are free to roam, organise, solicit funding and get involved in electoral politics”. The placement on the ‘grey list’ could hurt Pakistan’s economy as well as its international standing.Leading newspaper Dawn’s edit did say FATF’s action was likely inspired by the US and India, but it still severely castigated Islamabad itself for things coming to such a pass.
“This is not some arcane Indian or American plot this is what a large number of nations around the world believe to be the case…Simply put the members of the FATF who have their own sources of information do not trust Pakistan to be truthful with them,” said an edit in another newspaper The Express Tribune.
A third newspaper, Nation, in an edit before FATF announced its decision, concurred with Dawn and the Tribune that the fault lies squarely on the Pakistani powers-that-be.
“Whatever the verdict, Gray (Sic) or Black, the blame lies squarely with the establishment’s inherent nonchalance in categorically and resoundingly withdrawing all support of the proscribed organizations and their offshoots in question-in all their covert forms,” said a Nation edit.
In the run-up to the FATF’s decision, some Pakistani newspaper articles downplayed the costs of being grey-listed to the country’s already fragile economy. The edits post the grey-listing did anything but that.
“It would be a mistake to minimise the impact of FATF’s move, even though Pakistan was previously on the list for three years until 2015 when it was conditionally removed from it…Raising capital and arranging badly needed inflows will be complicated after this development, which is sure to raise the cost of future money,” said Dawn.