New Delhi: With veteran Talibani cadres and fidayeen groups of Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) swarming the Pakistan occupied Kashmir(PoK) region, top authorities in Islamabad find it tough to adhere to the norms set by Financial Action Task Force(FATF), the global watchdog for terror funding and money laundering. No wonder, the State Bank of Pakistan seems to have failed to initiate tough measures against suspicious financial institutions linked with teror outfits, and operating from its soil.
To make matters worse for Pakistan, the arrest of Jabir Motiwala, a leading broker of National Stock Exchange, by Scotland Yard in London, last year, has exposed the nexus between the underworld and the financial institutions in Pakistan. Motiwala and his business associates are charged with operating one of the biggest money laundering rackets overseas at the behest of mafia don Dawood Ibrahim, declared a global terrorist by the United States.
Pakistan’s major banking and financial institution, Habib Bank, is also charged by the US Department of Services for facilitating billions of dollars to Saudi’s private bank, Al Rajhi which has links with Al Qaeda. Habib Bank was asked to shut it operations in the US, last year.
Indian intelligence reports said several private banks and consulting firms have been facilitating terror funds for JeM and Let. During 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, such leads of money trails were provided by foreign agencies to Mumbai police. The federal government as well as the state government have failed to launch a crackdown on financial companies linked with JeM, LeT and other terror outfits operating from Pakistan.
Islamabad’s top anti-corruption and anti-terror agency, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has also succumbed to pressure in mustering courage to dismantle money laundering and terror funding source. Several top terrorists wanted by FIA are absconding on files despite their presence in the country.
For Pakistan, the pressure has now mounted from international fraternity as the Asia-Pacific Group of the FATF has placed that country in the “Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist)” for its failure to meet its standards.
In its recent meeting in Canberra, the APG found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering, officials said.
On 11 effectiveness parameters, Pakistan was adjudged as low as 10.