With Pakistan preparing its strategy to present its case on money laundering and terror financing “strongly” before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) later this month so as to get out of the grey list, India has collected a “substantial amount of evidence” to punch holes in Islamabad’s claims.
Highly-placed diplomatic sources told The Daily Guardian that India would be sharing the evidence soon with the major powerful countries and the Paris based headquarters of the terror financing and money laundering watchdog. The FATF plenary is going to be held in the last week of February where Pakistan’s case on terror-financing and other related issues will be reviewed.
“Pakistan has been served a reminder to present its case with supportive evidence to show what it has done so far on money laundering and terror financing,” sources told The Daily Guardian. Sources added, “The terror watchdog is going to be tougher this time if Pakistan fails to convince it of its action against terrorism in accordance with the regulations of the watchdog.”
Diplomatic networks of India have got the information that Pakistan has actually done nothing that could satisfy FATF. “So, Islamabad is trying to fabricate proofs to show that its agencies have cracked down on the terrorist funding network in the country,” say sources.
But Pakistan will stand exposed before the FATF, which put it on grey list in June 2018 for its failure to address the problem of terror funding, sources say. In the last meeting of FATF in October 2021, Pakistan was once again retained on the grey list for having failed to “prosecute and confiscate the assets of UN-designated terrorist”.
“The Imran Khan government is planting fake stories in the Pakistani media about security agencies taking action against terrorists and their financing networks. But FATF will not go by the media reports. There should be substantial proof of all this,” says a diplomat. “India is seized of ample evidence that reveals how terrorist infrastructures continue to thrive in Pakistan and terror financing is going on as usual,” he adds. “Even the US intelligence inputs which have been documented corroborate this,” sources say.
India has already alerted the United Nations Security Council on this, saying that terrorist outfits have re-branded themselves as humanitarian organisations to evade sanctions in Pakistan. India told the UNSC that these terrorist organisations use the umbrella of the humanitarian space to raise funds, recruit fighters and even use human shields. Under the garb of the humanitarian cover provided by such exemptions, these terrorist groups continue to expand their terror activities in the region and beyond. “All this is happening with the protection of state agencies in Pakistan”, sources add.
This submission to the UNSC is being seen as part of India’s strategy to build a campaign to expose Pakistan on the terror front ahead of the crucial FATF meeting.
Under international pressure, Pakistan may have taken some action against Lashkar-e-Tayyaba leader Hafiz Saeed, but it did not take action against other terrorist outfits like Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar. Moreover, several key terrorists who are understood to be loyalists to Hafiz Saeed are roaming free in Pakistan. Many of them are now reportedly working with JeM, which is spreading its tentacles in Afghanistan with the help of the Taliban.
“When state agencies in Pakistan like ISI are involved in money laundering and terror financing, how can the Imran government take any action against these activities,” says an Indian diplomat. “Diplomats are in touch with the FATF officials on a regular basis. They have been updated on all this. Soon, they will be given evidence-based inputs before the money laundering watchdog meets,” sources said.