Pakistan’s record with money is exceptional. It’s the global headquarters of terror financing. It has been on the FATF grey list for more than two years and should be on the blacklist but like most international institutions and mechanisms this too is turning out to be a bit of a farce.
The Financial Action Task Force(FATF), the global terror financing watchdog has proved to be toothless in the last two years. Pakistan has failed every assessment spectacularly yet it evades the blacklist and continues to operate terror factories.
In June 2018, Pakistan was put on the grey list for terror financing. It was given two years to clean up its act and 27 action points to deliver. The deadline passed this year. In October 2020, a review was conducted and Pakistan failed. It had not fulfilled six key obligations.
Pakistan was set to be blacklisted but it did not happen. It was saved again and given another extension, now it has time till February 2021. Pakistan is far from demolishing its terror factories. It is demolishing the credibility of the FATF which is the global watchdog on terror financing but has proved toothless against a terror state.
In order to get off the grey list, Pakistan must block funding to UN-designated terror groups like the Taliban, al-Qaida, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. However, Pakistan hasn’t done it.
Since June 2018, it has got three extensions including a four-month grace period. Pakistan has mastered the art by pulling wool over the eyes of the watchdog. One month before the FATF meeting, Pakistan froze 964 properties of terror groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa.
In February, Hafiz Saeed was sentenced to more than five years in jail. In August, three of his associates were jailed by a court in Lahore. It happened just before the FATF meeting in October but the trials and the crackdown was just an eyewash.
Now, the sentences against Hafiz Saeed and his allies are under appeal. The terror activities of Jaish-e-Mohammad continues. Recently, intelligence sources told WION that the group has resumed its terror camps in Balakot. A video recently surfaced from one of the camps where anti-India slogans were raised.
Two weeks ago, Pakistan managed to secure a concession for Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi who is reportedly operations head of Lashkar-e-Taiba and one of the minds behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Reports say Islamabad has been permitted to pay Lakhvi 1.5 lakh Pakistani rupees every month. Pakistan’s next review is now barely two months away and once again Islamabad has begun constructing another smokescreen.
This week, Hafiz Saeed was sentenced to 15 years in jail in another case but, his network of terrorists still remains intact.