Published: Sat, February 24, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

US Move To Put Pakistan On Terror Financing Watch List Delayed

US Move To Put Pakistan On Terror Financing Watch List Delayed

Though initially Pakistan has been given a three-month reprieve by the global watchdog, but given the zero tolerance shown by the country against terrorist outfits which also saw passage of necessary legislation most recently against proscribed outfits, we expect that our relevant quarters will stay in touch with friendly countries in order to get the ill motivated motion quashed.

But Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said after the Paris meeting late Tuesday that "no consensus" on adding Pakistan to the list had been reached.

She said America's concerns with regard to Pakistan has been very clear. Pakistan was on the FATF grey list from 2009 to 2015.

Earlier Pakistan had submitted a report about the progress it had made in curbing terrorist financing.

The change authorizes the government to blacklist charities linked to Hafiz Saeed, a USA -designated global terrorist. This had led to some action, including the government notification to to freeze and take over the assets of Hafiz Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its related charity, Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FiF).

"The officials said the U.S. effort, which included pressure on the Saudis, raised the possibility of a fresh vote on action against Pakistan as soon as Thursday".

Two other Pakistani officials confirmed that Islamabad had received a reprieve of three months.

The minister stated that Pakistan had rendered unprecedented sacrifices in the war against terror saying that if the worldwide community could not support Pakistan in its fight against terrorism then it should at least not create hurdles in its way to handle this global challenge.

"Pakistan has in the recent past tried to invite foreign investors for infrastructure projects and take part in CPEC [China Pakistan Economic Corridor]".

Pakistan, if included on the list, would face enormous difficulties in terms of global money deals and foreign investors would face restrictions on their investments in Pakistan.

"The country has worked according to Financial Task force guidelines, and its financial monitoring unit has worked aggressively to choke terror financing by filing thousands of cases", Zahid Gishkori, a Pakistan-based journalist said. "Grateful to friends who helped". Later, the Trump administration withheld $2 billion in security aid until it sees much stronger action against militants. "There was a list of actions that were done", Gishkori added.

Noting that the Trump administration is angry with Pakistan's inadequate efforts to combat terror groups, the daily said the USA has sought to ratchet up pressure on Islamabad.

Earlier this month, the United States tabled a motion to reintroduce Pakistan to the FATF watchlist as ties fray over United States accusations that Islamabad is providing safe haven to militants. One argument Pakistan's establishment is making is that cracking down too hard on terror groups and their leaders whom the country's military has long patronized as the first line of offense against India and Afghanistan will destabilise the country if they turn their attention inwards.

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