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Millennium Post

A warning

A warning

During the June 16-21 Orlando meet of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), India pushed for getting Pakistan blacklisted for its failure to contain terrorism against India but was rescued by all-weather ally China, Malaysia as well as Turkey; FATF charter mandates support of at least three member states to avoid blacklisting. The international watchdog found Pakistan's failure in completing its action plan items for consecutive deadlines of January and May 2019. Expressing its concern, FATF warned Pakistan of completing its action plan items in an expedited manner by the October deadline and continued keeping Pakistan on its compliance document – Grey List – for its compounding failure to meet commitments. In short, Islamabad has effectively failed, till now in severing the fund channel to various terror outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) with the latter responsible for the deadly carnage in Pulwama.

In the wake of the Orlando meeting, India emphasised on how Pakistan must comply by FATF's directives and live up to its political commitment wherein it must "take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to address global concerns related to terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from any territory under its control". Clearly, India's emphasis is to ensure that Pakistan lives up to its political commitment arising from the incessant turbulence caused by terror outfits based on Pakistan's soil. After the longstanding demand to get Masood Azhar listed in the UNSC sanctions committee materialised, albeit help from West, India does not want to leave any stone unturned to ensure Pakistan's compliance by the norms. Along with India, France, UK, and the US have expressed concerns regarding Pakistan's commitment towards curbing terror funding as per standards set by FATF. The fact that Pakistan has not registered a single FIR against Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar – UN-designated terrorists – followed by inability to carry out a crackdown on their organisations – LeT and JeM – only justifies concerns posed by these nations. For Pakistan, not getting blacklisted is an opportunity to right all wrongs that have not only brought it to a desolate corner in global eyes but troubled countries like India through cross-border terrorism. Being blacklisted would mean that Pakistan will end up on the same list as North Korea with the risk of global sanctions. With reports suggesting that cadres of terrorist outfits are detained by Pakistan under its Maintenance of Public Order Act and not under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, Pakistan's intention looks outright sluggish. The internal conflict that may be taking place due to the heavy influence of these cadres on the Pakistan administration may be the reason for these bluff arrests which is why it is all the more important for Pakistan to comply by FATF standards. The country has to do more to curb funding to these terror outfits or it would soon be blacklisted. Though China, with aid from Turkey and Malaysia, managed to rescue Pakistan this time, it would not be able to do the same on other instances minus that one point where it heads the financial body. As evident in Azhar's case, China had to follow suit to other veto powers urging Azhar's listing despite China's blockade – a record four times.

While Pakistan has the mammoth task of neutralising these terror outfits and declaring itself a state that controlled terrorism, India must be wary of the notorious infringements that these groups may initiate owing to India's reinforced pressure in getting Pakistan - their home – blacklisted. A retaliatory impact from them is not unexpected and that gives us more reason to be on alert. India has denied any dialogue with Pakistan despite Beijing's suggestion and the support garnered from the West is of ample use here to isolate Pakistan for its deeds and force it to amend or suffer. India's continuous dig at Pakistan is aimed at highlighting the latter's lackadaisical attitude in curbing terrorism on its home soil while hurting India through cross-border terrorism as witnessed on several occasions in the past. The global watch will weaken Pakistan's position and force it to check terror aggression in the country otherwise it will end up getting blacklisted – which would not be particularly nice for it as we all know North Korea's position through the global lens.

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