Doubts raised over Pakistan’s battle against terror financing

The Asia-Pacific Group (APG), a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), has raised questions on Pakistan’s seriousness in its campaign against terror financing and money laundering, the media reported on Friday.

A 10-member delegation led by Finance Secretary Mohammad Younas Dagha represented Pakistan at the two-day APG meeting in Guangzhou, China, where it briefed the group about the country’s actions against currency smuggling, outlawed groups and tightening of financial and corporate sector systems, reports Dawn news.

At the meeting, some participants raised very tough questions about Pakistan’s seriousness to act against proscribed organisations and the effectiveness of internal controls.

In response, the Pakistani side reported the arrests of key operatives of some proscribed outfits, putting more such organisations and their affiliates on the list of banned outfits, blocking their accounts and financial flows and taking control of their assets.

The delegation reported that Pakistan had either complied with or was very close to accomplishing the milestones under the FATF action plan well before the September deadline.

The APG will submit to the FATF — an inter-governmental body which combats money laundering and terror financing — its analysis of the compliance report submitted by Pakistan.

Last week, the Pakistan government placed nine more entities on the list of proscribed organisations, taking the tally to 71.

In March, law enforcement agencies launched a major crackdown on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) led by Masood Azharafter he was declared a global terrorist by the UN Security Council.

That same month, Islamabad announced the freezing of accounts and seizure of assets linked to organisations banned by the UN Security Council.

Within weeks, the government said it had taken control of 182 seminaries and detained over 100 people as part of its push against proscribed groups.

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