China recently backed Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar at the United Nations Security Council once again. This was all that was reported by the media. But India scored an important victory that was completely ignored.
The Financial Action Task Force looks into terror financing. It met in Buenos Aires this week. India raised the issue of Pakistan failing to penalise and curb activities of the terror groups (designated by the UNSC). India was supported by many other countries.
This led to the force asking Pakistan to submit a compliance report during the next session in February 2018 on the issue of its terror financing. MEA said that this was a significant win for Indian negotiators was significant.
The interesting aspect is that even at the FATF China tried to defend Pakistan but failed. The reason was that at the FATF two countries are needed to block consensus unlike at the UNSC. But China found itself isolated in its support of Pakistan. This goes to show how Pakistan has no guardian on the international scene other than China.
Pakistan has been asked to report in February on action taken against designated terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat.
For the first time ever, the State Bank of Pakistan which is Pakistan’s Central Bank, has been asked specifically to report on its work in shutting off the finances to the groups.
A report on “SBP’s enforcement activity as it relates to ensuring compliance of the statutory regulatory orders (on terror financing) and penalising non compliance” has been demanded by the State Bank of Pakistan.
India has raised this issue in previous FATF sessions. It has questioned the funding of terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and LeT commander Zaki-Ur Rahman Lakhvi. Volunteers of the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation which is also run by Hafiz Saeed, have travelled to Syria and other countries on alleged ‘charity missions’, all of which is prescribed by the UN Security Council 1267/1373 rules.
“Pakistan is obviously not immune to their orders, and is also facing growing pressure from the US to cooperate,” an MEA official said.
Officials in New Delhi and Washington said they hope the FATF move will ensure that Pakistan curtails activities of all groups under the scanner, and keep Hafiz Saeed in detention for the foreseeable future.
This is a big win for India against the relentless terror funding of Pakistan. Making Pakistan’s deeds answerable to the world is the way to go for India.