In a dramatic development that highlights the global crackdown on the unbridled terrorism being exported by Pakistan, the US has moved to place India's western neighbour on the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) terrorist-financing watch list.
The FATF is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 to develop policies to combat money laundering. Headquartered in Paris, it consists of 37 members, including India and not including Pakistan.
Following its plenary in Buenos Aires in November 2017, the FATF had placed Pakistan on notice for terror-financing and had sought a compliance report on the action taken on terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). At that time, only China of the 37 member nations had backed Pakistan. The report was to be submitted in time for the FATF's meeting in Paris, scheduled for February 18 to 23.
Pakistan had earlier been placed on the FATF's grey list in February 2012 and remained there for three years.
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.