Global money laundering watchdog: Pakistan is add on Terror financing list
A global money-laundering watchdog has placed Pakistan back on its terrorist financing watch list, Indian media and a diplomatic source said on Friday, in a likely blow to both Pakistan’s economy and its strained relations with the United States. The move is part of a broader U.S. strategy to pressure Pakistan to cut alleged links to Islamist militants waging chaos in neighboring Afghanistan.
It comes days after reports that Pakistan had been given a three-month reprieve before being placed on the list, which could hamper banking and hurt foreign investment. Washington has spent the past week lobbying member countries of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to place Pakistan on the so-called “grey list” of nations that are not doing enough to combat terrorism financing.
In Washington, acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells was unable to confirm the FATF decision. She said, however, that the U.S. effort to have Pakistan put on the list was partly due to Islamabad’s failure to act against Hafiz Saeed, an Islamist who heads Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a charity accused by Washington of being a front for militant group Lashkar-e-Taibaد.
“When we saw terrorists like Hafiz Saeed be released for the sixth time from house arrest or saw charitable arms of Lashkar-i-Taiba or Jaish-i-Mohammad operate freely, sometimes in front of police stations doing fund-raising exercises, it obviously raises serious concerns,” Wells said in an interview.