Date :20-Feb-2020

THE international community should show no leniency towards Pakistan and should impose stringent sanctions against it for its support to terror funding. A huge gathering of about 800 representatives from international institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), UN and Governments will be present at the meeting of the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris to discuss various issues confronting the world. Of prime concern for India from the deliberations in the global meet would be the action that the group may take against Pakistan.
The sub-group of the terror financing global watchdog FATF, during its meeting on Monday, has already recommended continuation of Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ for its failure to fulfill most of the stringent norms against terror financing. The onus now is on the larger group, ICRG to put its seal of approval on the recommendation of the sub-group which must have arrived at the decision after watching the progress Pakistan has made on meeting the requirements of the global terror funding watchdog to pull itself out of the ‘grey list’ and get back to the ‘white list.’
The fact that the sub-group has recommended retention of Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ is indicative of the failure of Pakistan to meet the requirements. When China was the chair of the group in 2019, it had expressed satisfaction with measures Pakistan had purportedly taken to control terror financing and money-laundering. This was quite expected as China has always been in the forefront in bailing out Pakistan from tight situations, especially at international fora. But that did not absolve Pakistan of the sins it has been committing by nurturing and using terror groups for fulfilling its strategic goals against neighbours like India and Afghanistan.
In spite of the fact that it is reeling under severe economic crisis and when it desperately needs multilateral institutional funding to meet its day to day financial needs, Pakistan has shown hardly any willingness to shun the path it has chosen. The daily skirmishes on the border with Indian forces and the continued bid to push in terror groups shows Pakistan has no desire to meet the stringent norms that the global terror watchdog has laid down for getting removed from the watch list and receiving international aid for its very sustenance. The incarceration of Hafeez Sayeed, the UN designated global terrorist and Mumbai terror attack mastermind was effected only after the global watchdog had warned Pakistan of putting the country in the ‘black list.’
But this is only a hogwash. Because earlier also he was put under house arrest but there had been no curbs on his provocative activities outside. In fact he has been organising huge congregations inciting his followers to wage Jihad against India while the Pakistani Government looked the other way. As a matter of fact he was doing what the Pakistani Government had ordained him to do. The confiscation of his accounts was also a hogwash. Like Hafeez Sayeed there are several other top notch terror leaders who have been designated as global terrorists. But for Pakistan they are useful assets in realising its strategic goals, the central view being, cause disturbances in neighbouring countries like India and Afghanistan. When Hafeez Sayeed was arrested India had said that it was an eyewash.
The sub-group of the global terror financing watchdog too seems to have arrived at the same conclusion which prompted it to recommend retention of Pakistan in the ‘grey list.’ But Pakistan deserves more international retribution than this as it does not seem to be ready to mend its ways on dealing with its neighbours nor stop its nursing of terror assets with all the state machinery at their disposal.