Makki, the deputy chief and head of political affairs of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa or the LeT, is the brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed. He has occupied various leadership roles within LeT, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and has also played a role in raising funds for LeT operations.
He has been alleged to be involved in several major attacks against India including the 2008 Mumbai attacks. He has also been a part of the proselytising, fundraising and recruiting youth from Jammu and Kashmir.
Makki is also a member of organisations like Dawat Irshad Trust, Moaz Bin Jabal Trust, Al-Anfal Trust, Al-Madina Foundation Trust and Al Hamd Trust and Difa-e-Pakistan Council, the motley coalition of 40 right-wing political and religious parties of Pakistan which had once rallied against India and the United States.
In 2020, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court convicted Makki for financing terrorism and sentenced him to prison, according to the US State Department.
The United States continues to seek information on Makki because the Pakistani judicial system has released convicted LeT leaders and operatives in the past.
The proposal to list Makki under the UN Security Council sanctions regime was circulated to all members of the 1267 Committee under a no-objection procedure till June 16, HK Post reported.
Yet, China placed a ‘technical hold’ on the proposal to designate Makki.
Notably, China’s double standards in counter-terrorism are not new. It has repeatedly blocked proposals to designate Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based and UN-proscribed terrorist entity, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and has in the last few years shielded Pakistan from its misdeeds.
Pakistan is a valuable ally for China as it serves as the anchor of Chinese presence in the Indian subcontinent.
At the FATF, Pakistan is due to be assessed in October 2022 in Paris. And in the run-up to that its all-weather friend China is creating a lobby to support Pakistan so that it can be moved out of the FATF grey list.
But when it comes to counter-terrorism, Pakistan made limited progress on the most difficult aspects of its 2015 National Action Plan, specifically in its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organizations without delay or discrimination, said the US State Department in its 2020 Country Reports on Terrorism.
The country has failed to take adequate steps to counter-terrorism and prosecute terrorists including masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai attacks such as Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) founder Masood Azhar and LeT’s Sajid Mir, the US-based report said.
Although China claims to officially advocate ‘non-interference’ in the ‘internal matters of another country, it has been engaging with various Pakistani players (political parties, military, religious groups) at local and national levels.
It can be said that China’s technical hold over the LeT terrorist mastermind, Makki is to actually protect its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor interests in Punjab where the LeT also happens to have a stronghold, HK Post reported.
This duplicity in China’s attitude towards combating terrorism speaks volumes about the false commitments at multilateral forums like the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Shielding a global terrorist state undermines Beijing’s credibility and exposes it to the growing threat of terrorism.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has been on the Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog’s grey list for deficiencies in its counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering regimes since June 2018. This greylisting has adversely impacted its imports, exports, remittances, and limited access to international lending.
In June 2021, the country was given three months to fulfil the remaining conditions by October.
However, Pakistan was retained on the FATF ‘grey list’ for failing to effectively implement the global FATF standards and for its lack of progress in the investigation and prosecution of senior leaders and commanders of UN-designated terror groups.