Pakistan caught in quicksand may be blacklisted by global terrorist financing watchdog by June

Pakistan caught in quicksand, may be blacklisted by global terrorist financing watchdog by June

NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s luck might soon run out as it continues to support and finance terrorist organisations and individuals. Days after receiving the temporary relief of being put on the ‘grey list’, Pakistan is likely to be blacklisted by the global money-laundering watchdog in next four months.

“Pakistan may find itself on the blacklist of a global financial watchdog if it does not prepare a comprehensive action plan to eradicate terrorist financing by June,” reported the country’s national daily Dawn.

Last week, Pakistan received a temporary reprieve after the 37-nation Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put the nation on its ‘grey list’ instead of a blacklist. The anti-money-laundering monitoring group maintains grey and black lists for identifying countries with weak measures to combat money laundering and terror financing.

Pakistan is yet to work out the proposed plan with the FATF, which is why it’s not on the list yet.

“Between now and June, Pakistan will have to work out the details of the evaluation process with the FATF and a failure to do so could trigger another process, which may push Pakistan on the blacklist of wilful violators,” said the article.

US, along with its European allies – which includes UK, Germany and France – nominated Pakistan to be put on Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) list in mid-February. Last week, China, Turkey, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – who had initially been opposing the US-led move against Pakistan – also dropped their opposition.

Unhappy with Pakistan’s attitude to terrorism, the United States froze a $2-billion military aid in January 2018. US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists in return for $33 billion aid over the last 15 years.

US openly blamed Pakistan for sheltering Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed – a globally designated terrorist who co-founded Lashkar-e-Toiba and is the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).

Being on FATF’s blacklist will mean a serious impact on Pakistan’s economy, with a risk of being downgraded by lenders such as IMF, World Bank and ADB.

Under pressure, Pakistan has now started seizing the charities and charity-owned properties and vehicles of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation

However, the sheer scale and diversity of the charities founded by Hafiz Saeed, who is designated a terrorist by the United Nations, shows how difficult it will be for the government to even run the network, let alone track and take control of all their sources of income and funding.

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