Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has signed an ordinance aimed at reining in individuals and organisations like the LeT, al-Qaida and Taliban which have been banned by the UNSC, a media report said on Monday.
The ordinance amends a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act, enabling the authorities to take action against the UNSC-proscribed individuals and terror outfits, like sealing their offices and freezing their bank accounts, The Express Tribune reported. Sources in National Counter Terrorism Authority confirmed the new move.
The UNSC sanctions list includes al-Qaida, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jamaatud-Dawa (JuD), Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and others.
Has Pakistan turned over a new leaf when it comes to aiding, harbouring and turning a blind eye to terrorist organisations operating from its soil? Has it finally heeded India’s warnings or US President Donald Trump’s threats?
One might be inclined to believe so, to some extent, given the ordinance promulgated by Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain last week will reportedly lead be the proscription of Hafiz Saeed-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF). The truth could be that Islamabad is facing a tough situation that its friend Beijing has been unable to bail it out of.
However, even as the ordinance was promulgated and signed, Pakistan-backed terrorist organisations attacked military installations in India — an Indian Army camp in Jammu and a CRPF camp in Srinagar. So, what made Islamabad take a decision that, as Pakistani newspaper Dawn describes, “would end a long-standing ambiguity over the status of Hafiz Saeed-linked JuD and FIF by firmly placing them on the list of proscribed groups”?
It could be that a global financial watchdog might have finally compelled the powers that be in that country to take some action.According to the Pakistani daily, analysts fear that the aforementioned international body could take punitive action against Pakistan if the country is found to be complicit in terror financing. According to the report,According to Dawn, the new ordinance was brought in with just over a week left before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting, scheduled to be held from February 18 to 23, in Paris.
According to the report, Islamabad is facing a Washington- and New Delhi-led attempt to get Pakistan included in FATF’s international money-laundering and terror-financing ‘grey list’. In this backdrop, Pakistan’s National Security Committee had directed the concerned ministries to “complete the few outstanding actions at the earliest” for complying with the FATF’s requirements, the report added.
So, did the upcoming FATF meet really spook Pakistani authorities? As reported earlier, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a Paris-based organisation which sets standards for banks globally, has been scrutinising Pakistan’s record on terror financing. such an action could jack up the cost of doing international and domestic business.
As reported, President Hussain on Monday signed the ordinance aimed at cracking down on terrorist organisations and individuals, which have been banned by United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The ordinance amends a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), enabling the authorities to take action against UNSC-proscribed individuals and terrorist outfits such as sealing their offices and freezing their bank accounts, the Express Tribunereported.
The UNSC sanctions’ list includes dreaded terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to name a few.In June last year, FATF had slammed Pakistan for continued complicity in financing terrorist entities, stating that certain United Nations-designated terrorist groups in the country were receiving money due to lack of control by authorities.
Crucially, during the November FATF plenary, Pakistan found that its ally, China, was unable to shield it. According to an Economic Times report from November last year, despite China’s opposition, FATF asked Pakistan to submit a compliance report on actions taken against terrorist groups by February 2018.
At the Buenos Aires plenary, New Delhi had raised the issue of Islamabad’s support for terrorist organisations at the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) meet, the financial daily had reported citing officials present in the Argentine capital.