It is a big win for India’s crusade against terrorism perpetuated by the neighbouring nation which has been adamant to keep a stoic stand of denial always. The Financial Action Task Force’s Asia Pacific Group (FATF), a global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering has placed Pakistan in a terror ‘blacklist’ for its failure to curb funnelling of funds to groups responsible for scores of attacks in India. It has given a boost to India for its campaign against Islamic terrorism. India is a member of both the Asia Pacific Group (APG) and the FATF consultations and was represented by a team of officials from the ministries of Home, External Affairs and Finance. Pakistan had failed to stop funding to groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed. Pakistan has been under the FATF radar for its complicity towards terror groups LeT, JeM and others. It is almost certain that Pakistan will continue in its present status in the FATF ‘Grey List’ and there is every possibility that the country may further be downgraded into the FATF ‘Black List’ at its next plenary to be held in October in Paris. Pakistan’s continuance in the ‘Grey List’ means its downgrading by the IMF, the World Bank, the ADB, the EU and also a reduction in risk rating by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. This will add to the financial problems of Pakistan, which is seeking aid from all possible international avenues. The FATF meeting also voiced concern on the Pakistan’s failure to do enough to contain terror funding on its soil and the risk posed to neighbouring and other nations. In June 2018, Pakistan was placed in the ‘Grey List’ and given a 27-point action plan by FATF. This plan was reviewed at the last plenary in October 2018 and again in February 2019, when it was again put into the ‘Grey List’ after India submitted new information about Pakistan-based terrorist groups. In a bid to bluff the financial watchdog, Pakistani authorities have shown arrests of LeT, JeM, Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD), Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FiF) cadres. Pakistan has detained JeM founder Masood Azhar and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed mostly under laws that provide for detention for apprehension of breach of peace. The FATF implements UN’s decisions on terror designations which do not warrant arrest. They ask only for freezing of funds, denial of access to weapons and travel embargo.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper