India, backed by the US and Russia, is set to intensify pressure on Pakistan to step up its fight against terror funding when the Financial Action Task Force(FATF) holds its plenary in Paris next month, according to people familiar with the development.
FATF is an intergovernmental organisation coordinating global efforts to combat money laundering and terror financing. The Paris FATF plenary will assess Islamabad’s attempts to make its legal regime and law-enforcing machinery more effective to curb flow of funds to terrorist outfits.
In November, the Modi government, supported by Russia and the US, had made a strong case during the FATF plenary in Buenos Aires and succeeded in getting the panel to express concern over the activities of individuals and entities in Pakistan on the terror blacklist. “Their (Russia’s and America’s) support has ensured that (the) FATF, at its plenary meeting on November 2, 2017, called upon Pakistan to report on the action being taken to curb terror financing, especially in respect of the proscribed entities and individuals,” the ministry of external affairs (MEA) wrote to a parliamentary panel recently.
A report of the parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs quoted the MEA as saying that the FATF and other international organisations had expressed concerns over “the continuing activities of the UN proscribed terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Falah-i-Insaniyat in Pakistan and the ease with which they continue to access funds”.
The report, submitted by the parliamentary panel to the Lok Sabha earlier this month, contains the response of the MEA on recommendations the panel had made in its earlier report, which had been presented to the House in August 2017.
According to the persons cited earlier, China had tried to shield Pakistan at the FATF but, bolstered by support from several nations including the US and Russia, India could impress upon the FATF to direct Pakistan to continue to report on the actions taken to curb terror financing for the proscribed individuals and entities. The FATF has also asked the State Bank of Pakistan to report on the effectiveness of the steps taken to curb terror financing in Pakistan.