New Delhi: With Pakistan trying to wriggle out of the greylist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by September this year, the global anti-terror watchdog has said that “from February 16, more than 800 representatives from 205 countries and jurisdictions around the world, the IMF, UN, World Bank and other organisations, will arrive for FATF Week in Paris, France” and that there will be “six days of meetings that will focus on global action to follow the money that fuels crime and terrorism”. It added that “progress by Pakistan and other countries that present a risk to the financial system” will be evaluated.
New Delhi is also keeping a close watch on developments and will be reminding the world about how Pakistan has failed to live up to its promises of ending support to terror groups. Pakistan is trying to wriggle out of the greylist latest by September this year with the help of its all-weather friend China and other nations like Malaysia and Turkey apart from certain Western nations whom it is trying to convince. The FATF’s “greylist” comprises nations like Pakistan who are seen to have failed to fulfil their obligations to combat terror-financing. Earlier, Pakistan was in danger of falling into the FATF’s “blacklist” but that appears extremely unlikely now.
In what was seen as a desperate attempt by Islamabad to convince the world about its intentions on tackling terror, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court had last week convicted Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed on terrorism-related charges and had sentenced him to five and a half years in prison after finding him guilty of having links with terrorist groups, raising funds for terrorism and having illegal property.
But India had swiftly made it clear it was unimpressed with the conviction of Saeed, with government sources saying “the efficacy of this remains to be seen,” given that it comes just ahead of the FATF’s plenary meeting in Paris.
The United States had welcomed the conviction of Saeed.
India has been worried by reports that during the FATF’s recently-concluded Asia/Pacific Group meeting at Beijing last month, several other global powers including the United States softened their positions on the issue of Pakistan’s compliance to anti-terror measures.
According to these reports, Islamabad had succeeded in convincing several countries that it will comply with its obligations. There is also speculation that the US is going soft on Pakistan as it needs Islamabad’s help to cut a deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Indian government sources had said last week, “We have seen media reports that a court in Pakistan has sentenced UN designated and internationally proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed in a terror financing case. It is part of a long pending international obligation of Pakistan to put an end to support for terrorism. The decision has been made on the eve of FATF Plenary meeting, which has to be noted. Hence, the efficacy of this decision remains to be seen. It has to also be seen whether Pakistan would take action against other all terrorist entities and individuals operating from territories under its control, and bring perpetrators of cross border terrorist attacks, including in Mumbai and Pathankot to justice expeditiously.”
It may be recalled that just last month, French diplomatic sources in New Delhi had said that France — the host of the forthcoming FATF plenary meet — is “determined to continue combating money laundering and terror financing....