Punishing Pakistan for terror funding

Pakistan has been hovering on the fringes of being branded a terror state and why not considering that has been a major theatre of training and arming terror recruits for disruptive action against India especially in Jammu and Kashmir. The notoriety that it has gained internationally is doing its economy no good. The latest setback to its efforts to paint itself clean is the Financial Action Task Force placing it on the ‘grey list’ for failure to curb terror financing. At the plenary of the FATF in Paris earlier this week, Pakistan submitted a 26-point action plan and pushed diplomatic efforts to wipe out the stigma but the non-governmental financial watchdog was unrelenting. To Islamabad’s relief, it was not blacklisted but grey-listed and placed on a watch list. But this is only a trifle less damaging than blacklisting. The criteria on which the international body delivers are how sincerely the county combats money laundering, terror financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

One black mark on Pakistan is that it has failed to choke the funding of militant groups including the Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat ud Dawa and its affiliates. Howsoever, much it may seek to whitewash it, the unrelenting terror activities of the notorious outfit can hardly be hidden. The Jammu and Kashmir police on Thursday identified one of the killers of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari as a Pakistani belonging to the Lashkar e-Taiba, which is no different from Jamaat ud Dawa, showing that the terror outfit is pursuing its agenda of disruption and killings in India with characteristic ruthlessness. The irony in Pakistan is that the civilian government is a mere tool in the hands of the Pakistan army which actively participates in fuelling and funding terror clandestinely. While it is the government of Pakistan that is held accountable internationally, the real culprit —the army — gets away with murder. The 37-nation FATF is also aghast that the detention of Hafiz Saeed was always an eyewash. The world is indeed fed up of Pakistan and its terror machine. It must give expression to its disgust by declaring it a terror state and choking all its terror funding activities.

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