DC Edit | Choking funds for terrorism
The war against terror is a multi-theatre effort which calls for the concerted and coordinated use of ideological, strategic, financial and practical weapons to eliminate the scourge. The suggestions that have come up at the No Money for Terror (NMFT) ministerial conference held in New Delhi last week must lead to the effective use of financial tools to choke the pipelines that fund terrorists especially at a time when terrorism is increasingly becoming borderless.
Home minister Amit Shah quoted multilateral financial agencies and said a major part of the $2-4 trillion criminals launder across the world a year goes into funding terrorism. Given that most terror operatives commit themselves to their cause which they believe right, the multiplier effect of this sum is lethal.
The war on terror prosecuted by the United States has successfully thwarted repeats of 9/11 and one of the key reasons is their turning off the financial sources of the terrorists. This needs a lot if ingredients: sharing of real time data, coordination of multiple agencies across nations and a mechanism to act on the ground. It calls for enormous efforts to link various skill sets law enforcement agencies possess, which include human resources and technical expertise.
It is in this context India’s suggestion to host a permanent secretariat for the conference assumes significance. At present, the ministerial conference is a periodical event and if it were to be successful and effective, it needs to take a formal role. A permanent structure will make its operations more targeted and optimal.
It’s a known factor that Pakistan supports terrorism as a state policy and it often gives scant regard for calls to stop it. However, it acts, at least for the sake of it, against terrorists it harbours in the face of repercussion by agencies such as Financial Action Task Force. This shows pressure works in the fight against terrorism. NMFT can be another effective weapon in this critical war.