Le Pakistan : un État infréquentable ?


By Michel Makinsky, Research Associate of Institute of Applied Geopolitical Studies and General Manager of Ageromys International.

How to cite this publication

Michel Makinsky, Le Pakistan : un État infréquentable ?, Institut d'Études de Géopolitique Appliquée, Paris, Septembre 2021

Like Pakistan's key contribution to Taliban's control on Afghanistan, one must keep in mind that Pakistan is not only the critical hub for drugs trafficking towards other countries (including Iran), but beyond its logistical contribution, a major piece of drugs supply chain, including thanks to laboratories which add value to exporting narcotics. This, added to a mammoth corruption involving many high level individuals and institutions, explains why Pakistan is still under enhanced monitoring (grey list) by FATF. Due to heavy efficient 'pressures' from the United States, FATF did not put Pakistan on the 'black list', an indulgence related to the prioritary 'cooperation' between Washington and Islamabad.Subsequently Pakistan has been assigned by Trump and Biden as the subcontractor (and beneficiary) of the abandonment of Afghanistan. By contrast, FATF had put back Iran on the black list because the Islamic Republic has not implemented requested legislations in spite of granted additional delays. Hardliners in Iran, in particular Revolutionary Guards, vigorously oppose any step towards compliance which would jeopardize their juicy business. Therefore one cannot object FATF's decision, as corruption is a genuine serious issue in Iran. However, FATF's leniency and patience towards Pakistan should raise questions. When reading various assessment reports on Pakistan's practices, one was able to see an impressive list of major deviations. Subsequently, in order to avoid blacklisting, Pakistan has launched a no less impressive list of steps, which have been duly recorded by FATF; last reports show numerous compliance positive notes. But when reading between lines, a subtle analyst understands that there are significant gaps between announced steps and their practical effect. Has drugs business decreased ? If Afghanistan remains top worldwide narcotics exporter, this cannot be explained without efficient Pakistan's involvement period.

Most recent developments in Afghanistan clearly show that Pakistan is actively supporting Talibans, mainly through ISI intelligence services. Then, beyond drugs issues, this country is supporting terrorist activities. This should be a substantial valid reason for putting Pakistan on the black list. Therefore western countries should ask FATF to conduct a reassessment of Pakistan's behaviour on all grounds : support to terrorism, drugs, corruption.

Gentle reminder to those interested in nuclear concerns : Pakistan has an operational effective nuclear arsenal (150/160 weapons according to 2018 SIPRI report) officially targeting India only. This arsenal is currently (according to pakistani generals) under control. For ever ?