Pakistan can remain on anti-terror watchdog list after its’ failure to act against Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar

As the United States, the United Kingdom, and France and some of the prominent countries voiced concern over Pakistan’s failure to do enough to contain terror funding on its soil, Pakistan is likely to remain on the Financial Action Task Force gray list. The FATF is expected to release its public statement on Friday night.

Sources privy to the plenary meetings say that the US, the UK, Germany and France, the four nominating nations, have expressed displeasure over Pakistan’s non-compliance of the 27-point action plan of the international watchdog.

They also said that the countries have also expressed concerns over Pakistan failure in registering cases against terror masterminds Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar under anti-terror laws.

In June 2018, Pakistan was placed in the ‘gray’ list and given a 27-point action plan by the FATF. This plan was reviewed at the last plenary in October 2018 and for the second time in February, when the country was again put into the ‘gray’ list after India submitted new information about Pakistan-based terrorist groups.

India’s stand at the FATF plenary and other related discussions regarding Pakistan have always been consistent. India had steadfastly supported the move of the four nominating countries in February 2018.

These countries have always voiced their concern that Pakistan is not doing enough to contain terror funding on its soil.

One of the key points made by these countries is the absence of a proper understanding in Pakistan of trans-national risk, like risk posed to neighbouring and other nations by designated terrorist organisations based in Pakistan.

India has been raising the very same issue at various platforms. Some members of the FATF also believe that Pakistan has been responsible for destabilisation of the region. The same point was highlighted by these countries and supported by India in February 2019 in Paris and in May 2019 in Guangzhou.

Another serious anomaly is that Pakistan’s anti-terror law still remains out of sync with FATF standards and also the latest UN resolution 2462, which calls for criminalising terrorist financing.

Pakistan has, however, continued to state that it has done enough by seizing 700+ properties of LeT, JuD, FiF and JeM, similar to what it did as a result of its previous gray listing in 2012.

However, FATF members are concerned that there are no cases registered against the terror leadership, namely Hafiz Saeed and Azhar Masood and other UN-designated terrorists.

 

 

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