Imran Khan's 'Naya Pakistan', one that does not fund or spread terrorism, is a promise that has failed to live up to its reputation. Terror has spread its tentacles deeper into the nation's soil even as it has tried to upset the stability of neighbouring countries. The Pakistan military has not shown any serious commitment to counter terrorism thus far. The recent Pulwama terror strike by Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in which over 40 members of CRPF personnel were killed is yet another example of the country's continuing support.
In all, 58 countries have condemned the dastardly attack, including the US. But Khan failed to criticise it, in a televised address on Tuesday, five days after one of the bloodiest attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.
Even as India's attempts to blacklist JeM chief Masood Azhar have been thwarted by China, a dossier is now being prepared to nail Pakistan's culpability in the Pulwama attack to be submitted to the international terror financing watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Attempts will also be made to blacklist the neighbouring country.
The dossier given directly to FATF is a wiser act than handing it over to Pakistan directly. Previous experiences have shown how the neighbouring country has failed to act on several dossiers submitted by India detailing the role of both Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the 26 November, 2008 Mumbai attacks. In as many as three dossiers, India had submitted telephonic evidence, DNA reports of terrorists and forensic analysis of ammunition among other items as evidence.
The mastermind of the 26/11 attacks, Hafiz Saeed, who is a UN-designated terrorist, continues to roam free in the country. AK Dogar, the lawyer for Saeed, was quoted by India Today as saying that the Pakistan government did not provide India's 26/11 dossiers as evidence against Saeed after a court there ordered his release from house arrest in 2017 .
While yet another dossier is being prepared, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, on Tuesday, reiterated Pakistan's failure to act on the Pathankot files — on the 2016 attack in an Indian Air Force base that left as many as seven soldiers dead.
Disagree. Pathankot dossier was given to them but no action was taken to punish the perpetrators . Time to walk the talk. But Pak PM deserves a chance since he’s recently taken over. Of course the war rhetoric has more to do with the impending elections than anything else. https://t.co/QIOxkzuSth
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 19, 2019
The attack was orchestrated by the JeM and India once again had submitted a dossier on Azhar that detailed his fund-raising mechanism.
Similarly, India has submitted dossier after dossier on gangster Dawood Ibrahim's presence in Pakistan in a bid to hand him over. One of them that included Dawood's addresses in the neighbouring country was also backed by the United Nations. The global body had confirmed six out of the nine addresses of Dawood given by India to be correct. According to reports by the intelligence bureau, Dawood's associates and relatives had shifted from these addresses to unknown locations in Pakistan. Yet, the man himself and his associates remain out of bounds for the Pakistani security officials till date.
No wonder then that the Pakistan Army has recently asked Azhar and Saeed to "limit their public appearances" in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, according to intelligence reports.
The dossier on Pulwama, therefore, needs to go all the way to FATF since relying on Pakistan to act against terror cannot be bought at face value with most of its commitments ringing hollow over the years. Giving a befitting reply to the neighbour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reiterated that the sacrifice of jawans "would not go in vain" and that the neighbouring country should remember that this is a "new India". India has already raised customs duty to 200 percent for goods imported from Pakistan following the Pulwama carnage as well as revoked the Most Favoured Nation status given to Pakistan.
How will the dossier to FATF affect Pakistan?
The dossier will contain evidence gathered on how JeM is being funded and aided by Pakistan as well as other details of terror attacks carried out by the outfit in the past. India will also push to blacklist the neighbouring country so that appropriate actions can be taken against it.
Coming under the Paris-headquartered FATF's blacklist will designate it a "non-cooperative" nation in the global fight against money laundering and terror financing. It may further lead to downgrading of the country by multilateral lenders like International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union and also a reduction in risk rating by Moodys, S&P and Fitch. Pakistan has already been on the grey list of the anti-terror finance watchdog since July 2018.
The FATF has 35 members and two regional organisations – European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council. North Korea and Iran are in its blacklist.
In a recent meeting with IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Dubai, Khan was promised monetary support to Pakistan to help resurrect its flailing economy, reported The Wire. However, if the FATF blacklists the country, the IMF promise for economic support to Pakistan would be jeopardised. The World Bank's aid to Pakistan (in terms of International Development Assistance credits) to Pakistan stood at a little over $1 billion. But further help from the World Bank or its affiliates such as the International Finance Corporation could also be "negatively impacted". Islamabad, has however been promised help by nations such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Updated Date: Feb 21, 2019 12:37:43 IST