India and SCO nations have enhanced engagement with the global terror watchdog to ensure that it keeps a tab on Islamabad amid growing terror activities.
New Delhi: Despite being dropped off the grey list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan would continue to be under the scanner of the Paris-based global terrorism watchdog. The FATF would continue to keep pressure on Pakistan to ensure that it takes credible action to curb terror activities in the “Af-Pak (Afghanistan-Pakistan) region”. Sources told The Sunday Guardian that the global terror financing and money laundering watchdog has given this assurance to India through diplomatic channels. “India is working closely with the FATF, by bringing to its notice various evidence based reports that terror activities are growing in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” sources said.
India, which is holding the Presidency of the SCO, has urged the Central Asian nations to partner with the FATF more closely to counter terrorism in the region that poses a challenge to all of them including India. Indian diplomats also visited the FATF headquarters this month for meetings, source said, adding that the FATF was urged to keep a close watch over Pakistan as there is evidence suggesting growing activities of terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyabaand Jaish-e-Mohammed. According to highly-placed diplomatic sources, several Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries, which are concerned about the growing terrorism from Afghanistan and the adjoining region (Pakistan), have recently ramped up engagement with the FATF. Moreover, the international community is also reaching out to the FATF, drawing its attention to money laundering and terror financing going on in the Af-Pak region, sources said. A report of the South-South Research Initiative (SSRI) recently said that the global money laundering and terror financing watchdog should continue to keep pressure on Pakistan to take action to curb terror financing. The report also said that Pakistan chose to ignore India’s requests to bring perpetrators of the Mumbai attack to justice over the past 14 years. “Several similar feedback and reports are reaching the Paris Headquarters of the FATF on a regular basis,” sources said. As a result, the terror watchdog has decided to keep a close watch over the development in Pakistan. “If needed FATF would send its inspectors to Pakistan to make an assessment of the ground situation,” sources added.
“In fact, Pakistan is witnessing a financial, political and law and order crisis at present. The political leaders in the government are busy fighting an internal war of supremacy. The security scenario is bleak in Pakistan, which is a cause of concerns, as terror groups are active there,”sources said. The world community is worried over the continuing presence of Pakistan based terror outfit LeT and JeM camps in Afghanistan. In communication to FATF and other world forums, India and Central Asian nations have reiterated that Afghan territory should not be allowed to be used by the UN-designated terror groups. “The message is for Pakistan also, as these groups are based there only, and obviously they are not being reined in by the security agencies,” senior officials told this newspaper. What is more deplorable is that Pakistan got away with FATF endorsement that it has been doing enough to counter terrorism. But the time has come that its action is put on the scanner so as to check whether Pakistan is really doing enough to curb terror financing and terror activities in the territories under its control, sources said. FATF was told that Pakistan must undergo a long and tight scrutiny once again.