A day after Pakistan lodged 23 cases on charges of terror financing and facilitation against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) called the move as “cosmetic steps”.
“Pakistan is trying to hoodwink the international community on taking action against terror groups. Let us not get fooled by cosmetic steps against terror groups by Pakistan,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters.
Weekly Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson (July 04, 2019) https://t.co/ESAiyHRA3X
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) July 4, 2019
The MEA further stated that Pakistan’s sincerity to take action against terrorists and terror groups will be judged on the basis of their ability to demonstrate verifiable, credible and irreversible action against terror groups operating from their soil and not on the basis of half-hearted measures which they undertake sometimes to hoodwink the international community.
“We want a normal relationship in an environment free from terror,” MEA added.
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) had said it registered the cases in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terror-financing through assets or properties in the names of trusts or non-profit organisations. It also named the leaders of JuD and LeT who have been booked, including Saeed and his aides Abdul Rehman Makki, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Ameer Hamza, Muhammad Yahya Aziz, Muhammad Naeem, Mohsin Bilal, Abdul Raqeeb, Ahmad Daud, Muhammad Ayub, Abdullah Ubaid, Muhammad Ali and Abdul Ghaffar.
Pakistan’s move came days after the G-20 declaration at the Osaka summit on June 28-29 gave primacy to the FATF’s “essential role” and called for the effective implementation of its standards. On June 21, at the FATF plenary session in Orlando, the US — the terror financing watchdog’s chair — had told Pakistan that it could face blacklisting at its next session in October if it did not adhere to its commitments to stop access to funds for terror groups.