India working with US, Russia to nail Pakistan for failure to squeeze flow of fund to terrorists

India working with US, Russia to nail Pakistan for failure to squeeze flow of fund to terrorists

India working with US, Russia to nail Pakistan for failure to squeeze flow of fund to terrorists

India is working with the US, Russia, UK, France and several other nations to bring Pakistan under international scrutiny for its failure to squeeze flow of fund to terrorists.

Pakistan is likely to come under intense pressure from India, US, Russia and other nations next month when the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an intergovernmental organization coordinating global efforts to combat money laundering and terror financing will hold its plenary in Paris. The FATF will assess Islamabad's efforts in the past few months to make its legal regime and law-enforcing machinery more effective to curb flow of fund to terrorist outfits, sources told the DH.

President Donald Trump's administration in Washington DC has of late suspended all security assistance to Pakistan, accusing it of not doing enough to fight the menace of terrorism. New Delhi, however, expects Islamabad to come under more international pressure in the coming months not only for the safe havens terrorists get in Pakistan, but also for its failure to check fund flow to the terror networks.

The FATF had in February 2015 asked Pakistan to strengthen its internal mechanism to check money-laundering and financing terror.

New Delhi last year played a key role in bringing it under the notice of the FATF's International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) that Pakistan had not yet done enough to implement the United Nations Security Council's 1267th resolution and to prevent the individuals and entities proscribed by the international organization from receiving illicit fund.

India, supported by Russia and the US, lobbied hard during the FATF plenary in Buenos Aires in November last year and succeeded to get the intergovernmental panel express concerns at the continuing activities of the proscribed individuals and entities in Pakistan. "Their (Russia's and America's) support has ensured that (the) FATF, at its plenary meeting on November 2, 2017, called upon Pakistan to report on the action being taken to curb terror financing, especially in respect of the proscribed entities and individuals," the Ministry of External Affairs wrote to a parliamentary panel.

A report of the parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs quoted the MEA stating that the FATF and other international organizations had expressed concerns over "the continuing activities of the UN proscribed terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Falah-i-Insaniyat in Pakistan and the ease with which they continue to access funds".

The parliamentary panel submitted its report to the Lok Sabha last week. It contains the response of the MEA on recommendations the panel made in its earlier report, presented to the House in August 2017.

Sources said that China had tried to shield Pakistan at the FATF. But supported by the US, Russia and other countries, India could get the FATF ask Pakistan to continue to report on the actions taken to curb terror financing for the proscribed individuals and entities.

The intergovernmental panel also asked the State Bank of Pakistan to report on the effectiveness of the measures taken to curb terror financing in Pakistan.

Islamabad is expected to submit a compliance report to the FATF during the intergovernmental panel's next plenary in Paris in February.

Hafiz Saeed, a radical cleric based in Lahore in Pakistan, heads both Jamat-ud-Dawa and Falah-I-Insaniyat. New Delhi firmly believes that Saeed, the founder of the LeT, had masterminded the deadly November 26-28, 2009 terror attack in Mumbai. Over 170 people were killed and countless others were maimed in the three-day carnage by the LeT terrorists.

Saeed was in 2009 designated by the United Nations as a global terrorist linked to the LeT and Al Qaeda. The US also declared a bounty of $ 10 million on the radical cleric in April 2012. He, however, continues to live freely in Pakistan, spewing venom against US and India. Though he has been detained and put under house arrests several times in the past, Pakistan Government every time ended up setting him free just after a few weeks or months.

Islamabad, however, recently ordered all the provincial authorities to explore the option of taking over both Jamat-ud-Dawa and Falah-I-Insaniyat a move, which was apparently a result of the pressure from the FATF. Saeed is suspected to use the JuD and Falah-i-Insaniyat as conduits to channel funds to the LeT and other terrorist organizations. An FATF delegation is also likely to visit Pakistan soon to assess the action taken by the country's government to prevent the terror organizations from accessing finances, sources in New Delhi told the DH.



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