Pakistan had failed to act against terror financing on its soil: Voice of Karachi Chairman
The Voice of Karachi chairman Nadeem Nusrat has said that the decision of global anti-terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to keep Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ is a right step in the right direction. The international community, however, needs to do a lot more to address the root cause of terrorism in South Asia, which is Pakistani military establishment’s obsession with religious extremists.
In a statement issued from the US capital Washington, D.C, the VOK chairman said all media sources are suggesting that Pakistan has been officially placed on a terrorism financing watchdog’s grey list on Wednesday despite Pakistani caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar and other diplomats’ frantic efforts to avoid the designation. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) took this decision in view of its findings that Pakistan had failed to act against terror financing and money laundering on its soil.
He said that Pakistan’s ethnic and religious minorities have long been pointing out how the country’s power military establishment is actively patronizing religious extremist outfits and unleashing them against innocent civilians. Such murderous groups not only routinely target Pakistan’s ethnic and religious minorities, they are
also involved, according to reports of various independent sources, in cross-border terrorism in neighboring countries. Emboldened by Pakistan’s powerful military establishment’s blatant support, some outfits, such as alQaeda and ISIS, have even been actively trying to establish their terror network at global level.
It is astonishing that despite growing international pressure, Pakistani deep state is not willing to amend its course
of action. In fact, it is taking steps that tantamount to mock the international community. For instance, he said, Pakistan’s National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) has ordered to unfreeze assets of notorious sectarian cleric Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and removed a ban on his personal movement and activities of his extremist Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) movement. Moulana Ludhianvi is the chief of ASWJ, a proscribed sectarian extremist group, formerly known as Sipah-e-Sahaba. Ludhianvi, who is also the Joint Secretary of Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), is now allowed to operate his bank accounts and purchase and carry arms.
Nadeem Nusrat said that the decision pertaining to ASWJ and Mr. Ludhianvi was made the same day Pakistan had committed to an ambitious 26-point action plan to avoid being blacklisted by the FATF. The plan, ironically, envisages choking the financing of terrorist groups like Da’ish, Haqqani network, Jamaatud Dawa and its affiliate LeT, JeM and persons affiliated with the Taliban. But authorities in Pakistan have done exactly its opposite by removing financial and political restrictions against a notorious cleric and his murderous outfit.
The VOK and SAMAF leader said that the real victim of Pakistani military establishment’s reckless policies and subsequent international sanctions are Pakistani civilians who have no role in devising such irresponsible policies. Inflation, unemployment and crimes are on the rise in Pakistan, whereas essential necessities for life such as clean water, power etc. are becoming scarce with every passing day. The military establishment is also busy curbing the free media with brute force. This is a serious situation that demands serious action from the international community. He said that the Voice of Karachi and South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation will support every action to establish lasting peace and rule of law in the region and to get social justice for Pakistan’s true civilian forces.