In light of the US leading a global crackdown on Pakistan by moving to place it on the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) terror-financing watch list, India's western neighbour has banned global terrorist and 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD).
Along with the JuD, Saeed's Filah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) has also been banned, and an official notification has been issued in this regard by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All accounts of the JuD and the FIF have been frozen.
Here's the Pak government's notification:
As per sources in the Indian government, Pakistan is worried about the impact on its credit rating if it is placed on the FATF's grey list.
"Action is being taken against Hafiz Saeed and affiliate groups just as a face saver to show FATF that they have acted since the last meeting in November. India will push for Pakistan to be added to the terror financing watch list", government sources have said to Republic. India will be sending a composite delegation to the FATF's Paris meeting which begins on February 18.
Before the intergovernmental money-laundering watchdog's meeting, where Pakistan is required to submit a compliance report on actions taken on terror organisations like the JeM and LeT, the country has reportedly been considering placing 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in house arrest once again.
Meetings are said to have been held over this but no concrete decision has been taken as yet, sources in Pakistan have said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan is also trying to garner diplomatic support in its bid to avoid being placed on list, where it had languished for three years starting 2012.
As per top diplomatic sources, besides China, which was the only one of the 37-member nations to back Pakistan when it was put on notice for terror-financing in November 2017, three other countries are also being taken into confidence.
In a last-ditch effort to comply with the FATF and avoid international sanctions, Pakistan, this week, amended its anti-terror laws to include the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and other terrorist outfits on the list of UN proscribed groups.
While Pakistan's 'action' on Hafiz Saeed can clearly be said to be an eyewash, coming months after the terrorist's release from what was already a sham house arrest and his intent to contest the upcoming Pak elections via his politico-terror outfit Milli Muslim League (MML), the US' crackdown is anything but.
On the first day of 2018, US president Donald Trump had launched a scathing and stunning Twitter attack on Pakistan, calling it out for its "lies and deceit" with regards to clamping down on terror and calling an end to military aid to the country. Accordingly, the US administration suspended aid worth about $2 billion to Pakistan. Then, on January 24, the US launched a massive drone strike on Pakistani soil near the border with Afghanistan targeting leaders of the Haqqani network. Another drone strike followed on February 8.