Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar (File photo)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar (File photo)

India puts pressure on Pak, FATF obligates Pak to take action against Masood Azhar in June

ANI | Updated: May 02, 2019 20:39 IST

New Delhi [India], May 2 (ANI): Pakistan is under obligation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to take action in June in accordance with its procedures on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar grey-listed by the United Nations on Wednesday, sources said.
The FATF is a global body that tightens the noose on terrorists by combating their financing and money laundering. The idea behind putting Pakistan in the FATF grey list is to deplete its economy and eventually pull the plug on terror groups.
The last FATF Plenary, issued in February, decided to continue to keep Pakistan in the Grey List for ICRG (International Cooperation Review Group) monitoring.
"If you go through the Press Statement by FATF, one of the Action Plan specifically mentions that Pakistan has to demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services," sources told ANI.
"At the next FATF Plenary in June next month, Pakistan will be obligated to take action as per FATF procedures," they said.
On Wednesday, the UN designated Azhar as a 'global terrorist' after China also joined efforts to blacklist him by lifting its technical hold.
India said that designating Azhar as a global terrorist was a great diplomatic victory, adding that it was an objective for the country for many years and now the objective has been achieved.
The JeM claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama terror attacks that killed 40 CRPF personnel in south Kashmir.
When asked what steps Pakistan is expected to take after the designation, sources further noted that according to the Sanctions Committee, Pakistan and all other states are required to freeze the funds and other financial assets of Azhar.
"There will be a travel ban on the individual. There will also be an arms embargo to prevent the direct or indirect supply of arms to the individuals. Pakistan is responsible to the international community to take such actions as demanded by the UN Sanctions Committee," sources added.
In the past, China had stalled India's proposal to enlist Azhar as a 'global terrorist' at least four times in the last 10 years, the latest being in March this year. Beijing had previously blocked New Delhi's bid three times -- in 2009, 2016 and 2017.
Dismissing any quid pro quo with China on the UN listing of Azhar, Ministry External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday said it does not negotiate with any country on matters related to terrorism and national security. His remarks came in response to questions whether there was any deal with China on the issue during the visit by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale to Beijing recently.
The UN action came after China called for "political consultation within the framework of the 1267 committee" to "properly resolve" the issue pertaining to the listing of Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN on Tuesday.
Shortly after the listing, sources told ANI that Azhar was shifted to a safe house in Islamabad from his residence in Bahawalpur by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). (ANI)