Pakistan off FATF grey list, India worried
India on Friday said just the indication of the terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) taking Pakistan off the grey list had resulted in a 50 per cent spike in cross-border terrorist bases.
Now that Pakistan has been de-listed by the Paris-based FATF, India expects a return of cross-border attacks to pre-grey-listing levels, officials said.
Pakistan had been on the FATF grey list since 2018. FATF grey-listing impacts imports, exports and remittances, and also limits access to international lending. Not as severe as black-listing, inclusion in the grey list shows that a country is working to remove the deficiencies that have been flagged.
Upset with the de-listing of Pakistan earlier this month by the FATF, India sought to impress upon the international community the importance of the listing process at an informal briefing provided to the participants of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) special meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in Mumbai. The formal session will be held in Delhi on Saturday.
“In the mid of 2018, somewhere close to the listing (by the FATF), there were nearly 600 terrorist bases across the border. They went down by nearly 75 per cent during the FATF listing. This we think is one of the most important successes of the listing,” a source quoted home ministry officials telling the participants, urging the CTC to take note of this as an example of how effective designations are.
According to the home ministry briefing, the number of terrorist bases across the border went up by 50 per cent as there was talk of the FATF removing Pakistan from the grey list. “We are expecting more attacks on hard targets and much more trouble” now that Pakistan has been de-listed, Indian officials said.
Further, the flow of foreign terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir is going up and attacks on soft targets are increasing, they said, citing the terror strikes on migrant workers and Kashmiri Pandits.
Earlier, in his inaugural address, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar, while referring to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, said: “When it comes to proscribing some of these terrorists, the Security Council has regrettably been unable to act in some cases because of political considerations. This undermines our collective credibility and our collective interests.”
He was making an oblique reference to China blocking successive efforts by India and the US, in particular, to sanction under the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee some of the terrorists who masterminded the attack.
“We need to ensure the effective and transparent functioning of the Security Council sanctions regime and make sure that they are not rendered ineffective for political reasons. Objective and evidence-based proposals for listing of terrorist groups, especially those that curb their access to financial resources, must be seen through,” Jaishankar added.
Besides the officials, several survivors of the Mumbai terror attacks addressed the informal meeting that was held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, one of the targets of the 2008 terrorist attacks.