Blocking terrorist funding

Money laundering is a primary source of finance through which terrorist groups are able to fund their activities.


Editorial November 02, 2012

The United Nations can slap Iran and North Korea-like sanctions on Pakistan next year if the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards on curbing money laundering and terror financing are not met. In an attempt to ward off this threat, Pakistan is now lobbying to seek international support and feels that the reason it is being targeted is because the FATF is heavily dominated by Western countries and India. Instead of being worried about the FATF’s member countries’ “political motives”, Pakistan should focus on meeting the requirements set by the international anti-money laundering watchdog, as curbing terrorism is something that should be our top priority in any case. Pakistan has suffered the most from home-grown terror; we have lost more than 40,000 lives in terror attacks. The fact that non-state actors have managed to launch cross-border terror attacks and planned attacks in other countries has put Pakistan in further trouble.

The government has reportedly improved the current legislation on counterterrorism financing, which will soon be presented before parliament for approval. The anti-terror legislation must be brought forward as soon as possible. It is an open secret how some terrorist organisations use to have links to elements within the establishment. Since the government was unable to stop these elements from pursuing a deeply flawed policy, the least it can do is put a firm stop to terrorist-funding by bringing in a strong anti-terror legislation. Money laundering is one of the primary sources of finance through which terrorist groups are able to fund their activities. If this source of financing can be cut off, we would be able to somewhat control our terror problems.

Pakistanis live in constant fear of terror attacks on both military and civilian targets. Ridding our soil of terrorists is a win-win for both Pakistan and the international community. It is about time we took this important step and brought forward the anti-terror legislation.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2012.

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COMMENTS (5)

Enlightened | 8 years ago | Reply

The terrorists organisation would continue to flourish till state patronisation is totally stopped. Almost all organisations are receiving funds from one political party or another, business houses, individuals and their major source of funding are some Arab countries who give huge donations directly or indirectly through the madrasas/institutes patronised by them. Banned organisations like JuD was handed over millions by the Punjab state for the charity work done by it. Pakistan who claims to be a victim of terrorism are themselves to blame since it refuses to unwind its terror machinery and no wonder if strict sanctions by the UN are slapped on it which are fully justified as the country does not believe in fulfilling its international obligations of peaceful co-existence for many a decades.

gp65 | 8 years ago | Reply

"Pakistan is now lobbying to seek international support and feels that the reason it is being targeted is because the FATF is heavily dominated by Western countries and India."

The Western countries that Pakistan accuses of dominating FATF would be able to pass laws banning transactions with banks in countries non-compliant with FATF. This would directly impact your inward flow of remittances since 60% flows from these countries.IF they further decided to take punitive measures in terms of trade sanctions, then since 80% of Pakistani exports are directed to these countries the 2nd large source of hard currency would vanish. Where then would Pakistan get the hard currency to source its coal/oil /gas for its energy needs? The Pakistani currency would undergo deep devaluation and experience high associated inflation.

So these are norms worth complying with EVEN if punitive UNSC action maybe thwarted with CHina's veto.

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