The intergovernmental organization to combat money laundering The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has not given any reprieve to Pakistan for its failure to stop funding of Islamic terrorist organisations like the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM). The decision was taken at the FATF's third and final plenary on June 24. The plenary was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FATF plenary decided continuation of Pakistan in 'Grey List' till its next meeting to be held in October, reports PTI. FATF sources informed PTI that the decision has been taken as Pakistan has failed to check flow of money to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). Two years ago the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had placed Pakistan on its "grey list" and had directed the country to take steps by September 2019 to address the terrorism issue.
Ironically, the plenary was held under the Chinese Presidency of Xiangmin Liu. China is a 'all-weather' supporter of Pakistan and its terror activities. China has gone out of the way to save Pakistan in international forums and has repeatedly blocked move to designate Pakistan-based Masood Azhar as a terrorist in UNSC.
The FATF decision comes on a day when US Department of State in its report said that Pakistan continues to serve as a "safe haven" for certain "regionally-focused terrorist groups."
"Pakistan continued to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally-focused terrorist groups. It allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN, as well as groups targeting India, including LeT and its affiliated front organizations, and JeM, to operate from its territory," the report states
The report asserted that Pakistan’s efforts towards counter-terrorism "remains unfulfilled" and slammed Pakistan as a safe harbour for "regionally focused terrorist groups" and allowing LeT and JeM to operate from its soil.
"While Pakistani authorities indicted LeT co-founder Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his associates on December 11, they have made no effort to use domestic authorities to prosecute other terrorist leaders such as JeM founder Masood Azhar and Sajid Mir, the mastermind of LeT’s 2008 Mumbai attacks, both of whom are widely believed to reside in Pakistan under the protection of the state, despite government denials," the report said.