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India reaches out to FATF, UNODC to rein in Khalistanis

WorldIndia reaches out to FATF, UNODC to rein in Khalistanis

New Delhi has provided evidence-based inputs to these international organisations, urging them to help block the funding of the outlawed outfits operating from foreign soil.

New Delhi: Amid the growing anti-India activities by pro-Khalistan groups in the UK, the US, Australia and some other countries, India has reached out to international organisations such as Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), seeking their help to tackle these outlawed outfits and the organisations funding them. New Delhi has also contacted the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), which is an international network of FIUs working on the goal to fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.
The Egmont Group also supports the efforts of other international stakeholders on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), including the United Nations Security Council, the Financial Action Task Force, and the G20 Finance Ministers.Highly-placed diplomatic sources told The Sunday Guardian that the Egmont Group has been urged to gather inputs and evidence related to the Khalistani groups operating on foreign soil. “India has shared evidence with the FATF and UNODC on the funding and sympathisers of pro-Khalistani groups, urging them to work further on the basis of whatever documents have been provided to them,” a source said.
UNODC is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime, in addition to being responsible for implementing the United Nations-led programme on terrorism. India has also intensified diplomatic dialogue with the nations where anti-India activities and protests of Khalistani outfits have been reported. These countries include the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Italy and Malaysia, sources said.
“The governments in these countries have been urged to share evidence-based inputs with India on the funding and haven of Khalistanis. Moreover, these countries have also been given a strong message, saying that they must not allow their territory to become a safe haven for such elements and their organisations. Their sympathisers need to be singled out and action must be taken,” a source said. “The UK government was asked as to why London has become a haven for those accused of terrorism and other crimes in India. It is unfortunate that the UK has failed to rein in the violent separatists it shelters,” a source added. Recently, a massive protest by pro-Khalistani groups outside the Indian High Commission happened in London, with the security personnel finding it difficult to control it.
In what is being attributed to diplomatic pressure being mounted by India, vandalisation of the Indian High Commission in London was raised in the UK Parliament. UK’s leader of the House of Commons, Penny Moradaunt, said, “We strongly condemn the vandalism and violent acts that took place outside the HCI in London. This was a completely unacceptable action.” Similarly, Canada’s foreign ministry said that it is in contact with the Indian diplomatic officials over the Khalistani protests. “Canada is committed to the safety and security of missions and diplomats. We take very seriously our security related obligations under international law,” said MarilyneGuevremont, spokesperson from Global Affairs Canada. The spokesperson said, “We are aware that protests have taken place at various locations in Canada. Canadian authorities have been in contact with Indian diplomatic officials regarding the protests.” MEA spokesperson ArindamBagchi on Friday gave a strong message to all the countries where vandalisation of Indian missions happened. Bagchi said “We are not interested in assurance, we would like to see action. Hope government will take action and prosecute those involved.”
The FATF, Egmont Group and UNODC have been requested to extend help dealing with terrorists and militants financing bodies in these countries, sources said. These outfits manage to collect funds on the pretext of humanitarian causes, and then the money collected like this is misused for anti-India activities on foreign soil, said officials aware of the development. “India has asked all these countries to block funds to these outfits, as their failure to do so will be interpreted as their soft approach to those who are challenging India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity from the territory of other countries,” an official added.
India has demanded that Pakistan-based pro-Khalistan entities (PKEs) must be on the radar of international terror watchdogs like FATF. Sources told The Sunday Guardian that India will strongly raise this issue at the G20 Leaders’ Summit to be held in Delhi in September. Sources said that the pro-Khalistan leaders and sympathisers get funds in the name of donations from various sources and even common citizens in the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Italy and Malaysia.
India has already shared information with the international organisations, exposing that leaders of at least a dozen pro-Khalistan terrorist groups live in Lahore where they raise funds for their anti-India activities. Sources said that these inputs had been given to the FATF when it was about to visit Islamabad a few months back to assess the on-ground situation related to terrorism in Pakistan.

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