Published: Published Date – 12:40 AM, Tue – 21 June 22

Despite the growing international condemnation, Pakistan refuses to mend its ways on terror funding and cross-border misadventure. As an instrument of state policy, terrorism is so well entrenched that the Deep State has no means to come out of the self-created trap. No wonder the global anti-terrorism watchdog —Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — is still unwilling to remove Pakistan from its ‘grey list’. Instead, the Paris-based multilateral body said it will conduct an onsite visit to ascertain if steps taken by the country to curb terror financing and money laundering are “sustainable and irreversible”. The announcement came after a four-day plenary meeting in Berlin, with FATF president Marcus Pleyer saying Pakistan had largely addressed the 34 action items from two action plans given to the country to crack down on financing of terror groups and money laundering but the decision on removing from the grey list will be taken only after the field visit in October. This confirms India’s suspicion that the hostile neighbour has made only cosmetic changes in its policies to impress the international community but there is no improvement at the ground level. Pakistan’s detention of suspects and prosecution of commanders of UN-designated terror groups have been eyewash. So far, it has failed to take action against terror financing of terrorists living on its soil. Islamabad has been on the FATF grey list since 2018. This grey listing has adversely impacted its imports, exports, remittances and limited access to international lending.

Pakistan’s economy is in such a dire state that it is dependent on international aid for survival. It must realise the grave consequences of exporting terror at the behest of military bosses. An independent think tank in Pakistan has estimated that it has cost the economy $38 billion since the country was put on the grey list, which could have scared away investors and creditors. Despite the financial repercussions, the relentless drone drops in J&K and Punjab, infiltration attempts and targeted killings are proof that the state policy of wounding India remains robust. The double standards and inconsistencies in the global support for the war against terror mean that India has to redouble efforts to secure its borders and fight the protracted battle largely on its own strengths — a fact made clearer as China blocked a joint proposal by India and the United States to designate Pakistan-based top LeT militant Abdul Rehman Makki as a global terrorist under the UN sanctions committee. His involvement in raising funds, recruiting and radicalising youths for attacks in India is uncontested. Yet, he is out of bounds. Pakistan must come clean on the issue and complete all the tasks mentioned in the FATF action plan in its own interests. It has so far avoided being on the black list with help from China, Turkey and Malaysia.

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