Top
Millennium Post

Superficial efforts

Superficial efforts

As reports regarding Hafiz Saeed, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind, Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief and a UN-designated terrorist, being apprehended 50 Km north of Lahore by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan's Punjab Province poured in, a sense of long-awaited justice was tinkered in the Indian psyche. However, it is unlikely to materialise. Hafiz Saeed has been arrested by authorities in Pakistan on several occasions but has, unfortunately, being freed on all those instances by courts on appeal following gross failure on authorities' part to produce compelling evidence which should be enough to hold him. In fact, Hafiz was going to appear before an anti-terrorism court when the arrest took place. Hafiz's JuD is known to be a front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) who was behind the Mumbai terror attacks which had killed 166 people and shaken up the Indian conscience over its security apparatus. Since Hafiz is known to have escaped justice on several occasions before, these arrests merely become a formality, until he is again freed. What makes matters interesting is the active pursuit of Pakistan in apprehending Hafiz arising from the pressure directed to Pakistan from the international community. Under the watch of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan faces complete isolation from the world economy should it be blacklisted by FATF this October. This October deadline is an extended one after the earlier May 2019 deadline was missed. FATF's issue with Pakistan over terror fundings and money laundering is the driving factor which has landed the latter in the former's grey list for a second time after 2012. If Pakistan fails to act in time to the satisfaction of the FATF, it faces the possibility of being blacklisted by the terror-financing watchdog. Though China saved the day in FATF's last meeting, preventing Pakistan from getting blacklisted, FATF requires Pakistan to crackdown on terror financing emanating from it. Banks function in coordination with foreign counterparts for a transaction. If a country has been put on FATF blacklist, it makes the transfer of money through a bank of that country a tedious and lengthy affair. As Pakistan reels under the financial crunch, taking measures, even if they are just superficial, takes precedence if it wants to be on the bright side of FATF's decision. Understanding the FATF angle actually gives greater clarity on Pakistan's recent push for apprehending Hafiz since his incarceration, if not over masterminding 26/11 then at least for terror financing, will be ample evidence from Pakistan to show FATF that it has respected FATF's directives to curb terror funding. Hafiz Saeed was arrested for the first time after December 2001 Parliament terror attack with India mobilising international opinion against Pakistan's support to Hafiz Saeed. It is not evident if his incarceration would lead to justice which, in turn, calls for greater pressure from the international community, which has gained increased focus on curbing global terrorism, to give the terror setup a significant blow.

Next Story
Share it