Ahead Of Critical FATF Meet, Pakistan Reportedly Mulling Hafiz Saeed's Arrest; Making Diplomatic Outreach

Pakistan News

The US has moved to place Pakistan on the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) terror-financing watch list

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Updated On:

With 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 is said to be considering desperate measures to avoid such a fate.

Before the intergovernmental money-laundering watchdog's meeting in Paris starting February 18, where Pakistan is required to submit a compliance report on actions taken on terror organisations like the JeM and LeT, the country is reportedly considering placing 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in house arrest. 

Meetings have been held over this but no concrete decision has been taken as yet, sources have said to Republic TV.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is also trying to garner diplomatic support in its bid to avoid being placed on the FATF's grey 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 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed-linked 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. 

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