A conclusion that leaves no one surprised, Pakistan has been officially placed on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ‘grey list’ despite the rigorous -and a little-too-late- scrambling on the part of the establishment.

The significance of Pakistan of being grey listed (again) with its subsequent impact on the already floundering economy and international diplomatic standing has already been enumerated by analysts and economic pundits, envisaging a divestment of foreign funding, difficulty in international borrowing and accessing international markets. It also gives the antagonized Trump administration full clearance to bear down upon Pakistan and turn full-throttle on mounting international pressure.

While the verdict itself is chastening, the mortification of being grey listed takes on a deeper hue when coupled with the establishment continuing to feign ignorance of the issue at hand. Pakistan needs to stop playing the victim to an imagined international instigation; the FATF listing has by no means blindsided us or overlooked our ‘efforts at curbing terror financing’. It is a warranted condemnation and confirmation of our state policy of turning a blind eye towards militant activity carried out on our soil. Such feigned ignorance is tantamount to sanctioning such perverse groups and their ideologies to the detriment of the sovereignty of our country.

The establishment’s touting of hyperbolic action plans and inflated rhetoric as efforts at clamping down on the problem is roundly refuted by its endorsement of proscribed groups making a reappearance in the political arena in an unchecked bid to contest the elections. With prohibited groups like the MML being able to circumvent the electoral process to field their candidates and propagate their agenda, the similarly banned ASWJ being granted nominations papers mere moments after the FATF verdict and the state kowtowing to a mendacious TLYR, militant ideology is still being mainstreamed and actively condoned. The glaring reality remains that the establishment continues to overlook the repercussions for effectively sanctioning such militant outfits, all for the sake of political expediency.