Pakistan Under Biggest Pressure from FATF, Says NSA Doval as Imran Khan Govt Hopes to Dodge Grey List Status

New Delhi: Pakistan is under a lot of pressure at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting, currently underway in Paris, to rein in terror groups operating from its soil, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said on Monday.

Doval, who was addressing a meeting of the chiefs of the Anti-Terrorism Squads (ATS), said the biggest pressure on Pakistan comes from the functionaries of the FATF.

“If a criminal has the support of a state, it becomes a great challenge. Some of the states have mastered this, in our case Pakistan has made it as an instrument of its state policy,” he said.

In the present context no country can afford to go for a war as the financial and human costs are huge and no one is sure about victory, he added.

Terrorism is a low cost sustainable option which may damage enemies to a great extent, Doval said in a reference to Pakistan.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

On Monday, ahead of the Financial Action Task Force's crucial decision on whether to blacklist Pakistan, the United States said the country must prevent militant groups from operating on its soil and prosecute top Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives along with its leader Hafiz Saeed.

"As Prime Minister Imran Khan has said, Pakistan, for its own future, must prevent militant groups from operating on its soil," Alice Wells, head of the US state department's South and Central Asian bureau, tweeted. "We welcome news that Pakistan arrested 4 #LeT leaders. The victims of LeT's vicious attacks deserve to see these individuals prosecuted now, along with LeT leader Hafiz Saeed," she said.

Pakistan has a long history of catching and releasing terrorists operating from its soil. Wells' remarks came as the FATF is set to give its decision on the country's 'grey list' status.

Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the Paris-based watchdog in June last year and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019, or face the risk of being placed on the black list with Iran and North Korea.

The ongoing review of Pakistan's performance will determine if it stays on the grey list or moved on the black list or given a clean chit.

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