Eight banned outfits placed on high-risk category

Pak Army stand at a office,where poling staff gather in lahore

–121 taken in protective custody under NAP so far

ISLAMABAD: The federal government decided to place eight banned outfits from medium risk to high-risk category during an official meeting regarding implementation on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on anti-money laundering and counter terror financing for Pakistan, media reports said Thursday.

According to details, these organisations include Daesh (Islamic State), Al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan, Haqqani Network, Jamaatud Dawa, Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The government has directed the departments concerned to take action against these high-risk banned outfits. The decision was taken during FATF General Committee meeting which was chaired by Finance Secretary Arif Ahmed. The session also reviewed FATF’s recommendations and progress on their implementation.

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Interior said that 121 people have so far been taken into custody during an ongoing action against the proscribed organisations in the country as part of the National Action Plan (NAP).

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government has recently initiated a crackdown against banned outfits in line with the decisions made during a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) in January this year.

“Interior Ministry is working closely with the provinces in a crackdown against the banned outfits,” the ministry’s spokesperson said.

The spokesman further added that the provincial government has taken control of 182 madrassas, 34 schools, five colleges, 184 ambulances, and eight offices, which were being operated by the proscribed organisations.

On Tuesday, seminaries run by the JuD in Chakwal — Madrassa Khalid Bin Waleed in the Talagang area and Madrassa Darus Salam on Chakwal’s Railway Road — along with their staff were placed under the administrative charge of the federal Auqaf department.

The Ministry of Interior also announced on Monday that 44 under-observation members of proscribed organisations, including Mufti Abdul Raoof and Hamad Azhar — the brother and son of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar, respectively — were taken in “preventive detention” for investigation.

The government had on Monday notified a 2019 order of the United Nations Security Council that would provide a legal basis for freezing or seizure of properties owned by individuals and organisations designated by the council as terrorists.

The order was issued to meet the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regarding the implementation of the designation of persons and entities under the UNSC resolutions. Pakistan, despite making some progress in overcoming the shortcomings in its counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering regimes, continues to remain under the cloud at the global illicit financing watchdog.

After failing to adequately convince the FATF, Pakistan is now required to complete actions it has to take by the May timeline. The next FATF plenary is due in June this year.


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