World Media

US, allies in action to place Pakistan on terror-financing watchlist

US, allies in action to place Pakistan on terror-financing watchlist

Pakistan's de facto finance minister, Miftah Ismail, told Reuters the FATF would consider a motion to place Pakistan on the list but the government was "hopeful" it could make its case to avoid it.

He hoped that Pakistan will not be put on the watchlist whether the USA did not take back the motion.

According to a senior Pakistani official, a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) member states is set to take place in Paris next week, where the organization could adopt the motion on Pakistan. If Islamabad fails to comply with the regulations prescribed by FATF to combat money laundering and terror-funding, financial transactions emanating from Pakistan will be put under greater scrutiny, thereby making it hard for the country to undertake international/cross-border transactions.

The body maintains grey and black lists for identifying countries, which are failed to take appropriated steps to curb money-laundering and terror financing.

The FATF does not have the power to impose sanctions itself, but its "grey list" and "black list" of countries with money laundering and terrorist financing problems are very influential with global financial institutions.

"It is time for that to stop, and so we are working with our allies, who also are affected, to see effective action against groups such as the Haqqanis and elements of the Taliban", the official said. Saeed is reportedly the focus of the motion introduced by the US and United Kingdom.

"The U.S. has consistently expressed our long-standing concern about ongoing deficiencies in Pakistan's implementation of its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism finance regime", U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Wednesday.

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"In addition to broader systemic concerns, this also includes Pakistan's non-compliance with its commitments under UN Security Council Resolution 1267", she added. India however says that only placing Saeed on the terror list would not suffice. Washington has designated Saeed a terrorist.

Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, heads the charity JuD, believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group.

Last week, Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain had signed an ordinance amending the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Pakistan's attorney general, Ashtar Ausaf, told Reuters the law changes approved by the country's president were meant to reflect obligations under the U.N. Security Council charter. It feared that the global body can take some punitive action against Pakistan.

Punjab province's law minister, Rana Sanaullah, said the central Ministry of Interior had issued a notification against Saeed's two charities, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), last week. Critics say previous such efforts have faded once pressure on Pakistan eased.

Pakistan vexed with the worldwide sanctions, has smartly amended its anti-terror laws to include Hafiz Saeed connected organisations Jamaatud-dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation and other militant outfits on the list of United Nations illegitimate groups, reported in media.

"Confidentiality of the FATF internal deliberations and documents are very important and core to the deliberative process", the spokesperson said.


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