Pakistan amends anti-terror law to include Saeed’s outfits, likely to seize assets

Pakistan has “quietly” amended its anti-terror laws to include Hafiz Saeed-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation and other militant outfits on the list of UN proscribed groups, a media report said Tuesday.

A major impact of a new ordinance promulgated by Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain would be the proscription of Saeed-linked JuD and FIF along with the UN listed outfits of Al Akhtar Trust and Al Rashid Trust, Dawn newspaper reported. It is also being seen as a step towards formal action to freeze bank accounts and seize assets of groups such as the Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation that have been sanctioned by the UN Security Council under Resolution 1267.

Saeed, accused by India and US of being the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, heads the charity JuD.

The move to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 ends an old discrepancy between the UN sanctions list and the national listing of terrorist groups and individuals, the report said.

It has come ahead of the crucial Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris, scheduled to be held from February 18 to 23.

The US and India are spearheading an effort to get Pakistan included in the watchdogs international money-laundering and terror-financing grey list, the paper said.

Pakistan was last placed on FATFs grey list in February 2012 and stayed on it for three years, the report said.

Last week, Pakistans National Security Committee (NSC) had directed the “ministries concerned to complete the few outstanding actions at the earliest”.

The UNSC sanctions list has Al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), Lashkar-e-Taiba (Let) and others.

A UNSC 1267 sanctions committees monitoring team visited Pakistan in January to review the compliance, but analysts fear that the FATF review could be tougher for the country, the report said.

It is feared that the international body can take some punitive action against Pakistan, it said.

The FATF maintains grey and black lists for identifying countries with weak measures to combat money laundering and terror financing.

The watchdog does not have the powers to impose sanctions on a country found not meeting the required standards.

However, its listing can affect international transactions from the country concerned as those would then become subject to greater scrutiny.

This will increase the cost of doing international transactions and ultimately higher cost of doing business locally.

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    By: KN Web Desk

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