Pakistan presents new plan to cope with terror financing to convince FAFT

Islamabad: Pakistan has come up with new multi-pronged strategy to melt down international pressure of putting Islamabad back on the list of countries which have failed to prevent terrorist financing by introducing ‘terror financing risk action plan 2018’.

The Pakistan delegation headed by Adviser to Prime Minister on Financial Affairs Miftah Ismail shared the new plan with representatives of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris earlier this week where leading delegates reviewed an important motion moved by America, the United Kingdom and some other countries to put Pakistan on the grey list. “The matter (terror financing) requires international support through diplomatic efforts to stop foreign funding for terrorism in Pakistan.

“International terrorist networks and agencies of foreign governments appear to be involved in causing terror financing risks in Pakistan,” said one of Pakistani officials who attended the FATF meetings in Paris.

“The organisation will take final decision on Pakistan today — but we see a US-sponsored resolution to consider placing Pakistan on a watch list of countries face a “no consensus dilemma — we hope that they would defer this move till FATA’s next meet up (in June 2018),” added the official.

“We ensure visiting delegates of enacting mutual legal assistance laws on priority, the process for obtaining Egmont membership should be expedited to improve the international coordination and MoUs be signed with countries on basis of scope of international financial transactions link to money laundering and terror financing, senior official further revealed.

With this development, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at her daily news conference, answering Foreign Affairs Minister Khawaja Asif’s tweet as saying, “I cannot (respond to the tweet) because my understanding was that the final decision on that was due later this week. I don’t want to get ahead of what that final decision would be. I don’t have just independent confirmation that a decision was made early.” He, however, made it clear that FATF’s deliberations are confidential until it makes them public.

Pakistani delegation informed the participants that counterterrorism departments did not find any terror financing case on foreign funding. They also further informed the FATF members that over 18,790 cases were registered over misuse of loudspeakers and alongside 479 pieces of equipment. A total of 426 cases were registered against 574 persons under anti-money laundering laws. Pakistan issued a list of 65 proscribed organisations, placing four of them under observation, Islamabad response further reads. A total of 8,374 individuals are under Schedule IV of the ATA, 5,089 bank accounts were frozen by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) — where an amount of over Rs157 million was withheld. In total, Rs1.5 billion was recovered under campaigns targeting money laundering and terror financing.

On domestic coordination to deal with Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and other locally and internationally proscribed organisations, the official said that federal government came up with new legislation to put bar on them by fulfilling its international and domestic obligation.

“We’ve enhanced collaboration that is required among stakeholders including regulators to improve understanding terror financing risk as international cooperation through diplomatic channel would be used to stop foreign funding and support,” official quoted Pakistan stance during the meeting.

A total of 919 cases were registered for ‘hawala hundi’ [illegal money transfer], with 1,209 persons taken into custody. Over 2,052 individuals are facing movement restrictions, the report stated further.

 

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