Off the grey list: Pakistan

Islamabad, Pakistan:

These terrorists are trained, financed, armed, and radicalised in Pakistan which recently got relief after the FATF removed it from its ‘Grey List’. The FATF by earlier putting Pakistan on its grey list had limited resources available to the country to increase its financing, which often found its way into the hands of terrorists in the country.

After its two-day plenary in Paris, the FATF declared that Pakistan has fully completed the 34-point action plan it had earlier established. However, experts say that this is simply a statistical bureaucratic exercise that Pakistan has successfully finalized.

“This is one of those statistical bureaucratic exercises where if you tick a certain checklist, it doesn’t matter what you have done. It just shows that you just somehow controlled terror funding, and therefore, you are out of the list, whereas we know that Pakistan would have found some alternative routes of funding that same terror,” says Abhijit Iyer Mitra, defence analyst.

The United States has identified Pakistan as a base of operations of numerous armed, non-state terrorist groups, some of which have existed since the 1980s. According to the Congressional Research Service, notable terrorists and other groups operating in Pakistan are of five broad, but non-exclusive types. They include globally-oriented, Afghanistan-oriented, India-oriented, domestically oriented and sectarian i.e., anti-Shia.

The US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2020, which were released in December 2021, note that Pakistan did not take steps under its domestic authorities to prosecute terrorist leaders residing in Pakistan.

The reports further noted that Pakistan made limited progress on the most difficult aspects of its 2015 National Action Plan to counter-terrorism.

“The Pakistani deep-state has managed to build a worldwide infrastructure of organised crime. And they are beneficiaries of these kinds of things. I don’t think internal institutions of Pakistan are in a position to restrain them,” says geopolitical expert Jitendra Kumar Ojha.

There is a general consensus among security experts that many of these UN-designated terrorists run sham charity organizations that act as a facade to collect funds that ultimately are used to promote terrorism and Islamic radicalisation.

These terrorists enjoy the patronage of Pakistan’s security agencies, who use these outfits as their proxies.

The United States and India, both victims of terrorism, are trying hard to eliminate terrorism by sanctioning its perpetrators.

Both the US and India are making efforts to blacklist these terrorists under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.

Unfortunately, China, an all-weather friend of Islamabad, places holds and blocks on bids by India and its allies to list Pakistan-based terrorists. Despite obstacles created by China and Pakistan, India’s fight against terrorism and its perpetrators blazes forward.

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