The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan in the grey list till February next year, when a final decision will be made regarding the country’s status based on the efforts of the government. Pakistan in the current year under the current government has taken several steps to curb terror financing. This involves streamlining the banking system of Pakistan so that the state can take an eye on the money passing through the banks. In these next four months, Pakistan has been advised to work out the remaining matters that need to be worked upon. According to the Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Pakistan has managed to achieve 20 out of 27 targets set by FATF.

This is a great improvement on part of Pakistan and the effort has been recognised by several countries including Turkey, China and Malaysia. The meetings with the FATF staff members over the course of next days will highlight will focus on disrupting financial flows linked to crimes and terrorism and discuss ways to contribute to global safety and security. At this point, India is rigorously pursuing placing Pakistan in the blacklist due to the activities of Hafiz Saeed, however, Pakistan has worked extensively to eradicate extremism in the country and that effort can be recognised by the shift in the do more narrative of the United States of America (USA).

Pakistan needs the support of at least three countries to remain out of the blacklist. During the last year, Pakistan has focused on improving its foreign relations and pledging to play its part in global security. India at this time, despite economic interests, stands at a disadvantage due to their strikes in Kashmir and the human rights atrocities being committed in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Pakistan should focus on the technical flaws being administered in the financial sector. Four months is time enough to make the process more effective. If a time period of a year was enough to achieve 20 set goals, the remaining seven goals can be worked upon in these next four months.

It is a crucial time period for Pakistan because being blacklisted would result in the lack of investments and sanctions for the country as the label of terror financing in this day and age can dampen ties and push countries in an economic crisis - a position that Pakistan cannot afford at this point.