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Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorist Acts To Avoid FATF

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ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI: In an apparent attempt to avoid blacklisting by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan has issued a fresh notification proscribing 88 chiefs and members of terrorist groups, including 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim and LeT commander and key 26/11 accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, in compliance with the new list issued by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recently.

Significantly, the 2020 statutory notification, issued on August 18, mentioned Dawood’s White House address in Karachi in what Indian officials see as the first acknowledgement by Islamabad that the 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind is in Pakistan. While copies of similar notifications in 2015 and 2019 also mentioned the same address, Indian government sources said these statutory resolutions “appeared to be back-dated”.

However, Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs later said that the statutory regulatory orders reflect the current status of the UN Taliban and ISIL (Da’esh) and AQ Sanctions list and are a “routine matter”. It also said the individuals concerned are not named by its national counter-terrorism authority and reports about Pakistan imposing new sanctions measures are “incorrect”.

Looking to downplay the impression that Dawood’s addresses are acceptance of his presence in Pakistan, the statement from Islamabad said, “as to Pakistan admitting to the presence of certain listed individuals on its territory, based on the information contained in the SRO, is baseless and misleading”.

Indian officials, however, felt the mention of Dawood’s addresses is not completely inconsequential even if Pakistan will need to take concrete action. “The fresh notification is of little relevance, in the absence of real action against cross-border terrorism, except for the fact they have accepted for the first time Dawood’s base in Karachi,” said asource. The UN listing of Dawood also mentions the same address. India is now expected to press on Dawood’s inclusion in the SRO to demand that he be named under Pakistan’s anti-terror act as “individual terrorist” along with Lakhvi.

A source in India said Lakhvi and Dawood had never been mentioned by Pakistan in any official document till the 2020 statutory resolution. Lakhvi, the “operational commander” of the 26/11 attacks, has been held earlier only to be released due to indifferent court processes in Pakistan where judges and prosecutors have changed frequently.

The action, under pressure of the US and FATF, needs to be followed by prosecution and verifiable measures to restrict funding, said Indian sources, pointing out that terrorists like Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed have been placed under porous house detention that has not prevented them from planning and carrying out attacks in India and elsewhere. 

In the 83-page document, addresses of three properties of Dawood were mentioned, including “White House, Near Saudi Mosque, Clifton” in Karachi, “House Nu 37 — 30th Street — Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Karachi” and “palatial bungalow in the hilly area of Noorabad in Karachi”. Dawood’s same addresses were mentioned in the SROs that Pakistan had issued in 2015 and 2019.

Apart from Dawood, the government also announced sanctions on key figures of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM), Taliban, Daesh, Haqqani Group, al-Qaeda and others. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)-led government ordered seizure of all movable and immoveable properties of these outfits and individuals and freezing of their bank accounts. These terrorists have been barred from transferring money through financial institutions, purchasing arms and travelling abroad etc.

According to the document, the government ratified a complete ban on all members of the defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) hiding in the Pak-Afghan border areas; Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat-ud-Dawa; Mohammad Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Muhammed; Mullah Fazlullah (alias Mullah Radio); Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi; Muhammad Yahya Mujahid; Abdul Hakeem Murad (wanted by Interpol); Noor Wali Mehsud; Fazal Raheem Shah of Uzbekistan Liberation Movement; Taliban leaders Jalaluddin Haqqani, Khalil Ahmad Haqqani and Yahya Haqqani; and Dawood Ibrahim.

The document said leadership of the defunct TTP and other organisations, including LeT; Jaish Muhammed; Lashkar-e-Jhangvi; Tariq Geedar group of TTP; Harkatul Mujahedin; Al Rasheed Trust; Al Akhtar Trust; Tanzim Jaish-al Mohajireen Ansar; Jamaat-ul Ahrar; Tanzim Khutba Imam Bukhari; Rabita Trust Lahore; Revival of Islamic Heritage Society of Pakistan; Al-Harmain Foundation Islamabad; Harkat Jihad Al Islami; Islami Jihad Group; Uzbekistan Islami Tehreek; Daesh of Iraq; Emirates of Tanzim Qafqaz working against Russia; and Abdul Haq Uighurs of Islamic Freedom Movement of China have been banned.

Meanwhile, the foreign office said it is the UNSC Taliban Sanctions Committee that deals with sanctions on Taliban and entities and individuals, associated with them. Upon any change by the committee, all states including Pakistan implement these sanctions which include assets freeze, arms embargo and travel ban.

Courtesy – TimesofIndia

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