To Please FATF, JuD Terror Leader Hafiz Saeed To Be Indicted
An antiterrorism court (ATC) in Lahore has announced indictment on December 7 of Hafiz Saeed, the terrorist leader of the proscribed Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), and other JuD leaders booked in July for offences pertaining to terror financing. Saeed, along with deputy emir Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, Hafiz Abdul Salam bin Mohammad, Professor Zafar Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraf, Mohammad Yahya Aziz, and others will be indicted as per a report in the Dawn News.
This comes as Pakistan is coming increasingly under pressure to comply with the strictures of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which had warned Pakistan to deliver on its commitments to curb terror financing and money laundering.
Risks to the global financial system virtually put the country’s entire machinery into an aggressive mode to show tangible progress within two months of the warning. In late February, the government announced a ban on JuD and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation to partially address the concerns raised by India that Pakistan supported these and six similar organisations, including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), or at least considered them low-risk entities.
In 2012, Pakistan was placed on the grey list and remained on it till 2015. The country was put on the list again on June 29, 2018. Pakistan was given 15 months for implementation of the 27-point action plan, with a warning that in case of failure the country would be added to the blacklist — a list of the countries branded as uncooperative and tax havens for terror funding as per the Dawn Report.
FATF ruling on Pakistan in October 2019 indicated that Pakistan should continue to work on implementing its action plan to – adequately demonstrating its proper understanding of the TF risks posed by the terrorist groups, and conducting supervision on a risk-sensitive basis.
The Financial Action Task Force [FATF] has continued to place Pakistan in the Jurisdiction with Strategic Deficiencies. In a statement on 18 October the FATF with reference to Pakistan stated that “Since June 2018, when Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies, Pakistan has made progress towards improving its AML/CFT regime, including the recent development of its ML/TF risk assessment.
At the October 2019 plenary, Pakistan reiterated its political commitment to completing its action plan and implementing AML/CFT reforms,” however the progress has remained tardy.