Pak implements UNSC sanctions on funding terror outfits

Pak implements UNSC sanctions on funding terror outfits

Imran Khan's Government in Islamabad issued the order at a time when an international monitoring agency stepped up pressure on it to implement UNSC's sanctions on terrorists and terrorist organizations

The Government of Pakistan on Monday issued the United Nations Security Council (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019 to streamline implementation of the international organization's sanctions on the terrorists and the terrorist organizations.

Prime Minister Imran Khan's Government in Islamabad issued the order at a time when an international monitoring agency stepped up pressure on it to implement UN Security Council's sanctions on terrorists and terrorist organizations as well as to strengthen its legal mechanism to check the flow of fund to the terror networks.

The new order was issued in accordance with the provisions of Pakistan's United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Act, 1948.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Pakistan said in a statement that the objective of the new order was to streamline the procedure for implementation of Security Council sanctions against “designated individuals and entities” - the ones with links to the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. “Over the years the sanctions regime of the United Nations Security Council have evolved. A key measure of these sanctions regimes is assets freeze under which States are required to freeze or seize the assets of designated entities and individuals as soon as they are designated by the relevant UNSC Sanctions Committee,” the MoFA of Pakistan Government said in the statement.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an intergovernmental organization coordinating global efforts to check money laundering and flow of fund to terrorists – had last year put Pakistan on its “Grey List” – officially a list of “jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in its legal regime to check money laundering and terrorist financing”. The Government of Pakistan however in June 2018 made a commitment to work with the intergovernmental organization to plug the loopholes.

The FATF recently conveyed to Khan Government that it had detected 8,707 suspicious transactions in Pakistan in 2018 – much more than the 5548 detected in 2017.

The FATF, which had its plenary in Paris from February 17 to 22, reviewed the progress made by Pakistan in squeezing the flow of fund to terror organisations, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which have bases in the neighbouring country and carried out several terror strikes in India.

The JeM claimed the responsibility for the suicide attack that killed over 44 Central Reserve Paramilitary Force (CRPF) personnel at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14. The terror attack escalated tension between India and Pakistan, particularly after Indian Air Force hit a JeM camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan on February 26 and Pakistan Air Force retaliated next day by intruding into the airspace of India.

The FATF last month noted that Pakistan Government made “limited progress” on actions it promised to complete by January. It urged Islamabad to swiftly complete implementation of its planned actions, particularly the ones which were to be completed by May. The international agency would again review the performance of Pakistan in June.