Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava also said that key terrorism suspects including those accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks were yet to be brought to book by Islamabad
NEW DELHI: On the eve of the Paris based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) pronouncing its verdict on whether it is satisfied with Pakistan’s efforts to tackle terrorist financing, India on Thursday pointed out that a progress review had shown that Islamabad was yet to fulfill six key requirements set by the global watchdog.
Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava also said that key terrorism suspects including those accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks were yet to be brought to book by Islamabad.
Responding to questions at the foreign office briefing in New Delhi, Srivastava said that once a country was put on a watch list, the FATF gave it a programme to fulfill certain requirements within a particular timeframe.
“Those found wanting in implementing their obligations are held accountable and they are subjected to appropriate action. Now in the case of Pakistan, it is understood that Pakistan has addressed only 21 action items out of a total of 27 action items given to them under their action plan. Six important action items are yet to be addressed," Srivastava said.
“As is well known, Pakistan continues to provide safe havens to terrorist entities and individuals and it has also not taken any action against several terrorist entities and individuals including those proscribed by the UN SC (UN Security Council) such as MasoodAzhar, Dawood Ibrahim (and), Zakir-ur-Rahman Lakhvi," he said.
Pakistan’s compliance “is being looked at the virtual FATF Plenary meeting (which) is underway and will get over on 23 October," he said.
Pakistan was placed on the 39 member FATF’s “grey list" for close scrutiny for finances being directed to terrorist groups in June 2018. Last year, it was found compliant on 16 of 27 requirements set out by the FATF.
With China, Turkey and Malaysia supporting it, Pakistan is not seen as in any real danger of being placed on the “black list" bracketed with countries like North Korea. But moving out of the “grey list" is key if Islamabad is to attract investments to prop up its economy.
Seeking to move out of the FATF’s grey list, Pakistan in August had imposed financial sanctions on 88 banned terror groups and their leaders, including 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. In June, it won a three-month extension to complete FATF’s 27-point action plan because of the coronavirus pandemic. The deadline was June this year, but the FATF extended it due to the postponement of its plenary over Covid-19.
In his briefing, Srivastava also accused Pakistan of continuing to “engage in unprovoked ceasefire violations, often from civilian areas, to support infiltration of terrorists across the LoC (defacto Line of Actual Control border)."
“This is a clear violation of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding between the two sides," he said.
This year, Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire more than 3,800 times so far, he said.
“There have also been attempts to drop arms and ammunition close to the LoC in the garb of civilian activities," Srivastava said.
“We have also witnessed that Pakistan’s aid and abetment to cross-border terrorism, smuggling of arms and narcotic substances has spilled over to the International Boundary including through usage of drones and quadcopters. Such violations are regularly highlighted to Pakistan through diplomatic channels and at the regular DGMO (Directors General of Military Operations) level talks," he said.
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