Washington: Unhappy with Pakistan’s attitude to terrorism, US President Donald Trump has approached international financial watchdog to put the country on the global terrorist-financing watchlist.
Despite several warnings, Islamabad has failed to comply with the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions relating to terror groups on home soil including al-Qaeda and its affiliates, a top State Department official said today.
Last week, the US and its European allies – which includes UK, Germany and France – nominated Pakistan to be put on Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF’s) list.
The anti-money-laundering monitoring group maintains grey and blacklists for identifying countries with weak measures to combat money laundering and terror financing.
“The US has consistently expressed our long-standing concern about ongoing deficiencies in Pakistan’s implementation of its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism finance (AML/CFT) regime,” said a US State Department spokesperson.
“In addition to broader systemic concerns, this also includes Pakistan’s non-compliance with its commitments under UN Security Council Resolution 1267,” the official said.
The move can severly dent Pakistan’s economy.
“If you`re put on a terror watchlist, you`re made to go through all the (extra) scrutiny,” Pakistan`s former counterterrorism chief, Khawaja Khalid Farooq, told Reuters. “It can hurt the economy very badly.”
Pakistan has been scrambling to avoid being put on FATF watchlist. On Friday, the country pushed forward an ordinance that puts terror group Jamaat-ud Dawa, led by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, on the list of banned terrorist individuals and organisations. Islamabad also endorsed the UNSC’s list of banned terrorist organisations.
US President Donald Trump, in his first tweet of 2018, had lashed out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists and accused it of “lies and deceit” and of fooling US leaders while sheltering terrorists.
Trump went on to freeze a $2 billion military aid to Pakistan and threatened to block financial aid.
Unveiling his new South Asia policy in August last year, Trump had warned of tougher measures against Pakistan if it failed to cooperate with the US in the fight against terror.