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MEA Lambasts Pakistan's Farcical Action Against Masood Azhar & Lakhvi, Cites FATF Motive

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday slammed Pakistan's "farcical action" against terrorists Masood Azhar and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Written By
Akhil Oka

The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday slammed Pakistan's "farcical action" against terrorists Masood Azhar and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. While an arrest warrant has been issued for the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Lakhvi was sentenced to 15 years in jail Addressing a press briefing, MEA official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava contended that the neighbouring country was indulging in such tactics to mislead the Asia Pacific Joint Group of the Financial Action Task Force.

After placing Pakistan on the Grey List in June 2018, the FATF asked Islamabad to implement a plan of action to curb money laundering and terror financing. The FATF meeting scheduled in February is likely to decide on Pakistan's Grey List status. Maintaining that the Pakistani establishment uses the terrorists and proscribed groups as "proxies" to execute its anti-India agenda, he called upon the international community to hold the Imran Khan-led government accountable. 

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava remarked, "The timing of these actions clearly suggests the intention of conveying a sense of compliance ahead of the APJG meeting and the next FATF plenary meeting in February 2021. It has become routine for Pakistan to come up with such farcical actions prior to important meetings. UN proscribed entities and designated terrorists act as proxies for the Pakistani establishment to fulfill its anti-India agenda. It is for the international community to hold Pakistan to account and to ensure that it takes credible action against terror groups, terror infrastructure and individual terrorists."

Read: ED Chargesheets 26/11 Mastermind Hafiz Saeed & Others For Terror-financing In PMLA Probe

Read: Pakistan Is Yet To Show Sincerity In Delivering Justice To The Kin Of 26/11 Victims: MEA

Pakistan's action against terrorists

On Thursday, the Anti-Terrorism Court in Gujranwala issued Masood Azhar;'s arrest warrant for his involvement in terror financing and selling Jihadi literature. He formed the JeM after being released by India in exchange of passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999. The JeM is responsible for carrying out multiple terror attacks in India including the 2001 Parliament attack, the 2016 Pathankot airbase attack and the 2019 Pulwama attack. In May 2019, the United Nations designated Azhar as a "global terrorist" paving way for increased pressure on Pakistan.

Lakhvi, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander who played a pivotal role in the 26/11 terror attack, was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab province in Pakistan. The Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore held him guilty for using funds from a dispensary for terror financing and sentenced him to 5 years of rigorous imprisonment on three counts each with a total fine of 3,00,000 Pakistani rupees. Earlier, JuD chief Hafiz Saeed was sentenced to 36 years in prison. 

Read: Hafiz Saeed Still Pakistan's VIP; Terrorist & Aides Roaming In SUVs Despite Jail Sentence

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