- Pakistan’s Terror Problem
- Problem at The International Level
- The Role of Financial Action Task Force
- Suggestions: What Should India Do?
[RSTV The Big Picture] Fighting State Sponsored Terrorism
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- National Security Advisor (NSA) has criticized Pakistan for providing safe haven to terrorists and using terrorism as instrument of state policy. According to the NSA, to fight terrorism, one should recognize who are the terrorists, which countries are supporting terror and how they are being funding.
- In a recent meeting of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) at Paris, FATF warns Pakistan of blacklisting if it does not control terror funding by Feb 2020. In the meeting, there was also consensus on retaining Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ of FATF, based on its poor performance on the 27-point action plan.
Pakistan’s Terror Problem
- Pakistan’s civilian leadership has accepted that terrorism exists in Pakistan. The reason why Pakistan cannot deny existence of terror organizations anymore is because every single terrorist attack in Europe has a Pakistani links or nexus.
- Pakistan portray itself as a victim of terrorism rather than originator of terrorism. However, Pakistani Terrorist organizations work under the guidance, enjoy financial support, and receives official backing from agencies like the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
- Under International pressure, Pakistan tries to show that it is taking determined actions against terrorist groups like banning of terrorist organizations. But this will not have any meaningful impact, as upon banning, these organizations would simply change their name, and continue to enjoy support. For example, the Lashker -e- Taiba changed to became Jamat ud Dawa.
Problem at The International Level
India has been pointing out that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism since decades. However, the international communities were not paying heed. As every country was interested to pursue policies which suited it objectives, Pakistan was used by countries to serve their objectives.
·During 1980s, the Americans were using Pakistan against Soviets in Afghanistan.
·Now, the America want to become tougher on Pakistan as even after giving billions of dollars of aid to Pakistan, USA received nothing.
· However, on the other hand, America needs Pakistan in context of Afghanistan and also to work out an arrangement with Taliban.
· Currently, Americans have given up on Pakistan`s FATF compliance and the political will to fight against it.
· Pakistan and China are friends.
· China has been using Pakistan against India as China sees India as regional rival and wants to cut down India.
· Pakistan want to utilize the weakness of other countries. For example, China wants China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Belt and Road initiative to succeed. However, the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) is facing problem in other regions.
· Hence, to make BRI and CPEC success, China is leaning on Pakistan as china wants Pakistani economy to improve because china has invested so much in CPEC.
· Has been giving refugee Zakir Naik (accused of spreading hatred and funding terror) who is wanted by India.
· Some people in Malaysian government sympathize with Zakir Naik`s views.
·Turkey is an old ally of Pakistan. Turkey is following a pro Islamist policy.
· Turkey sees Pakistan following polices.
The Role of Financial Action Task Force
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which has 37 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organizations (the European Union and Gulf Cooperation Council) takes decision by
- Pakistan was placed on the ‘Grey list’ by the FATF in June 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete it by October 2019, or face the risk of being blacklisted.
- However, Pakistan scored poorly on this plan of action which was based on 10 parameters for ‘effectiveness and technical compliance ratings’ and 40 parameters for ‘technical compliance ratings. Out of these 40 parameters, Pakistan has complied with only 1.
- Even after putting Pakistan in grey list, terror group leaders continue to move around freely and collecting funds. These organization’s raise funds through charities, gold and various other means like donations from countries like Saudi Arabia etc.
- A sustained international pressure on Pakistan is being applied to show compliance and one of the solutions mentioned is moving Pakistan to the blacklist. However, at the recently held meeting at Paris, Pakistan’s allies Turkey, Malaysia and China, provided three necessary votes needed by Pakistan to avoid blacklisting.
- Pakistan is also being accused by the FATF of not showing political will to effectively control the terror financing.
Suggestions: What Should India Do?
India has been pointing out that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism since decades. However, the support at the international level faces many roadblocks. Hence, there is urgent need to control this situation.
India needs to attack the problem at the diplomatic level and at the security level.
At a diplomatic level:
- Pressure has to be maintained.
- Most of Pakistan`s terror financing comes from International donors like Saudi Arabia, UAE etc. Diplomatic outreach with likeminded countries like UAE etc. to cut the supply of terror funding.
- Even if Pakistan is not moved to the FATF Blacklist, India must make sure Pakistan stays in the FATF Greylist. This itself will ensure Pakistan complies more.
At a security level:
There are two ways
- Control the supply of money for terror financing in Pakistan, i.e. address the problems originating in Pakistani soil.
- Control the terror financing support from India.
- Check communications for large transfers, hawala transactions, under invoicing or over invoicing of export-imports.
- Cut down routes and possible channels of narcotics, gun running etc. from the Pakistani channel.
- India needs to put pressure and maintain eternal vigilance at all levels both in terms of diplomatic efforts on the international foras and the work done by the security agencies to ensure that non-state actors as well as those who are supported by Pakistani agency are not successful in their efforts.