RATCHETING UP the pressure on Pakistan, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday said Islamabad has not demonstrated a proper understanding of the “terrorism financing risks” posed by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), al Qaeda, Haqqani Network, Islamic State (IS) and Taliban.
In a statement, the Paris-headquartered international terror financing watchdog also condemned the Pulwama attack. “The FATF notes with grave concern and condemns the violent terrorist attack last week that killed at least 40 Indian security forces in Pulwama in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said.
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“Pakistan has revised its TF (terror financing) risk assessment. However, it does not demonstrate a proper understanding of the TF risks posed by Da’esh (IS), al Qaeda, JuD (Jamaat-ud-Dawa), FIF (Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation), LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba), JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad), HQN (Haqqani Network) and persons affiliated with the Taliban,” said the statement released after a week-long plenary session, which assessed Pakistan’s commitments and actions taken against terrorist financing.
This comes a day after the Pakistan government decided to “accelerate action against proscribed organisations” and reinstated a ban on 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s JuD and its surrogate, FIF.
The FATF said Pakistan has to demonstrate “effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1,267 and 1,373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services.”
This is clearly aimed at the JeM, JuD, FIF and Hafiz Saeed.
“As per FATF, Pakistan has to take action against 26 commitments by September this year. The deadlines for five commitments have already lapsed in January this year. Now, it has time to act on 16 commitments till May this year. If it fails to act on those 16 commitment by May, it would have failed to meet 21 out of 26 commitments, even after a year of grey-listing. While they will still have time till September, the blacklisting could be considered,” sources told The Indian Express.
The FATF said Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to address its strategic deficiencies, including by adequately demonstrating its proper understanding of the terror financing risks posed by the terrorist groups and conducting supervision on a risk-sensitive basis.
Pakistan should also demonstrate that remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism violations, it said.
China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, sought to play down the statement issued by the UN body naming Jaish-e-Mohammad in the Pulwama terror attack, saying the mention of the Pakistan-based outfit was only in “general terms” and “does not represent a judgement”. Asked about the UNSC statement, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: “Yesterday, the UN Security Council issued a press statement that mentioned a particular organisation but only in general terms. It does not represent a judgement on the attack.” (ENS)