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India to nail Pakistan on terror-funding at FATF meet this month

Ashok Tuteja | New Delhi |

India is set to turn the heat on Pakistan on the issue of terror-funding at the plenary of the Financial Action Task Force(FATF)  in Paris from 18 February.

According to informed sources, New Delhi was in touch with key powers like the US and Russia to enlist their support in cornering Pakistan and putting pressure on it to take steps to check terror-funding.

The week-long meeting in Paris meeting will review Islamabad’s attempts to make its legal regime and law-enforcing machinery more effective to check flow of funds to terrorist networks,

Established in 1989, FATF is an inter-governmental organisation promoting effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and combating other related threats to the international financial system.

At the Buenos Aires plenary in November last year, New Delhi, backed by the US and Russia, had succeeded in asking Pakistan to submit a compliance report at the coming Paris meeting on action taken by Islamabad against terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD).

For the first time, Pakistan’s Central Bank, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), was asked specifically to report on its work in shutting off the finances to these terror groups. China had sought to come to the rescue of Pakistan at the Buenos Aires meeting but that did not help Islamabad’s cause.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is also leaving no stone unturned to frustrate India’s attempts to nail it at the FATF meeting. Tasnim Aslam, Special Secretary in Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry earlier this week visited Russia and met senior ministers and officials to dissuade Moscow from supporting any move by India to corner Islamabad. ”The Special Secretary informed the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister about the measures taken by Pakistan to implement its international obligations and intentions of some FATF Member States (read India) to use the forum for their political ends,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said.