August 24, 2020 4:33:03 am
In a turn of events that had been expected by New Delhi, Pakistan on Sunday stepped back from its acknowledgment — which became public on Saturday — of the presence of terrorist Dawood Ibrahim on its soil.
Dawood, one of the most wanted men in India, figured in a list of 88 individuals published as a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to escape blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
On Sunday, however, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry in a statement brushed aside as “baseless and misleading” reports in the media that said Islamabad had “admitted to the presence of certain listed individuals on its territory”. The SRO mentioning Dawood was a “routine matter”, it said.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued two consolidated SROs on 18 August, 2020, reflecting the current status of the UN Taliban and ISIL (Da’esh) and AQ Sanctions list. These lists contain names of individuals and entities designated under the two sanction regimes established pursuant to the UN Security Council resolutions,” the statement said.
“The consolidated SROs are issued periodically as a routine matter. Similar SROs have been issued, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the past, as per statutory requirements to meet our international obligations. Last such SROs were issued in 2019.”
The SROs “reflect information contained in the list entry of UN designated individuals/entities”, the statement said, adding that “the reports in certain sections of the media about Pakistan imposing new sanctions measures, through these SROs, are not factual”.
Without naming Dawood, the statement said that “the assertions made by some sections of the Indian media, as to Pakistan admitting to the presence of certain listed individuals on its territory, based on the information contained in the SRO, are baseless and misleading”.
The statement said: “It is once again reiterated that the information contained in the SRO is reproduced as per the details in the list entry of the individuals/entities designated under the two sanctions regime, which is publicly available, and contains names of individuals who despite their confirmed deceased status still continue to be on the sanctions list.”
Apart from Dawood, the list named Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, the operations head of the Lashkar and 26/11 terror attack accused Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. All these men are wanted in India.
The designated terrorists on the list will have no direct access to funds, be able to enter or transit through Pakistan, or be able to procure weapons.
Dawood, who is accused of the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai among other terrorist attacks, has long been on India’s most wanted list, but governments in Pakistan have repeatedly denied his presence in that country.
Moving to avoid the FATF blacklist, Pakistan, via the SRO dated August 18, reproduced the terror listing of Dawood by the United Nations Security Council. The FATF is an inter-governmental body that works to “set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system”.
Pakistan has been on the “grey list” of the FATF since 2018 – a step away from being blacklisted (along with Iran and North Korea) – and under intense scrutiny to deliver on its political commitment to take effective action in line with the global anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime.
In the Pakistani notification, Dawood’s details are provided under serial no. “Qdi.135”, the same as in the UNSC list of sanctions. It includes the numbers of his passports, and his address in Karachi’s Clifton neighbourhood.
Dawood has nine Indian and five Pakistani passports. For all five Pakistani passports, the entry – which is the same as in the UNSC list – says “misuse”, indicating that the passports were not obtained through official channels.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.