Wed, 28 Oct 2020

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 18 (ANI): In a bid to shield their homegrown and foreign terrorists, Pakistan has made continued effort to avoid being blacklisted in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-terror financing watchdog.

While it tries to showcase its "efforts" in combating terrorism, analysts are saying that Pakistan is trying to deceive the global anti-terror financing watchdog to avoid being blacklisted and to let terror perpetrators go to scot-free.

"Among the most notorious of these terrorists is a shadowy figure who is wanted in more than half a dozen countries for his involvement in terrorism but who remains under the protection of the ISI - Sajid Mir," Jihad Watch said in its report.

Sajid Mir is the one who planned and executed the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and who also looks after the LeT's overseas assets. Moreover, Mir is responsible for attacks in about half a dozen other countries - US, Australia, France, Denmark, and the UK. Furthermore, he is on Federal Bureau of Investigation's wanted list.

"Despite his mugshots being available, none of the intelligence agencies have been able to locate him. As is their wont, the Pakistanis feign complete ignorance about Sajid Mir, a standard Pakistani response when confronted with an inconvenient demand," the report stated.

According to political analyst Shuja Nawaz, every time US officials presented evidence of Taliban and Haqqani Network sanctuaries inside Pakistan, they were met with a "blank stare".

"Sajid Mir remains a shadowy figure about whom not much is known. Even his antecedents are fuzzy. Some reports claim that he joined the LeT at the young age of 16 and then rose up the ranks. But other reports, which might be circumstantially more credible, claim that he is a Pakistan Army/ISI member/officer who has been working very closely with the LeT," the report further stated.

A US law enforcement official had once said that "Sajid Mir is too powerful and too well connected for them to go after. We need the Pakistanis to go after the Taliban and Al Qaeda."As things stand, Pakistan is on the FATF's grey list since June 2018.

The country is facing the difficult task of clearing its name from the FATF grey list. Islamabad is finding it difficult to shield terror perpetrators and implement the FATF action plan at the same time.

Earlier this month, in a major setback, FATF's Asia Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering kept the country on "Enhanced Follow-up List" for its slow progress on the technical recommendations of the FATF to fight terror financing. (ANI)

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