Pakistan’s move to covertly promulgate an ordinance to proscribe Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed’s ‘religious’ outfits Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation may not be enough to secure the international antiterror funding watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), from “grey listing” Islamabad later this week.
India’s proactive moves to establish that Pakistan’s “anti-terror” actions remained on paper and were a ruse to ward off an international rap may look FATF place Islamabad under incremented scrutiny. India has shared information on Pakistan permitting UN sanctioned Saeed and his organizations JuD and FIF to collect funds utilized for terror strikes in India.
Sources said the “grey list”, in which Pakistan was last named in 2012, affects international transactions from the country anxious as these would then be subject to greater scrutiny. Wary of international sanctions, Pakistan quietly promulgated an ordinance last week amending its Anti-Terrorist Act, 1997, searching to proscribe JuD and FIF along with UN listed outfits Al Akhtar Trust and Al Rashid Trust, a report by Dawn said.
A UN Security Council team visited Islamabad in January and Pakistan may find itself in a tough spot on lack of adherence to FATF guidelines despite being asked in November 2017 to furnish a compliance report on actions taken against the Lashkar-e-Taiba and JuD.
Intelligence collected by Indian agencies and shared with the FATF at its plenary in June and then in November last year stressed that Pakistan’s action against terror groups was a “paper activity”, devoid of any groundwork and was meant to hoodwink the international community.
India provided detailed evidence on illegal activities of terror groups and said Pakistan had seized only 69 accounts of JuD and its front FIF in the last 15 years. After his release from what was seen as a sham house arrest, Saeed was freely sermon violence against India and also making common cause with terror outfits in West Asia.
“JuD, FIF and its student wing Al Muhammadiya Students have indulged in organising lectures, rallies, meetings, fund raising activities and recruiting youngsters to take up jihad against India. Global terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, Abdul Rehman Makki and others are openly engaged in these activities apart from organizing funeral prayers for terrorists sent to India and killed by security forces,” India informed the international watchdog in its last plenary in Spain.
“The haste in promulgating ordinance to proscribe JuD and FIF shows Pakistan’s desperation as international bodies look through its illegal activities and support of terrorism,” a senior Indian government official said. India has long been demanding that Pakistan be categorised as a “terror state”. The UN and FATF have repeatedly asked Pakistan to freeze assets of terrorists and stop their funding through various channels.