Tracking Financial Transactions to Terrorism

by June 24, 2019 0 comments


Tracking Financial Transactions to Terrorism

Of all the actions India has taken against Pakistan, strangling it financially for supporting terror has been the most effective

After the horrific events of 9/11 in the United States, that and several other nations began cracking down on terror financing, from forcing tax havens to open up their banking secrecy laws to actively stopping transactions. In certain cases, information gleaned from financial transactions was used to track down terrorists and in some cases eliminate them. The financial footprints of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan played a huge role in how American intelligence services tracked down the terrorist mastermind. Since then, Pakistan has always been front and centre of the financial crackdown. Several Pakistan-based terrorist militias, including that of Hafiz Saeed and his constantly changing acronyms disguising militants, has for years found able financial supporters in the Arabian peninsula and in Western countries.

But the recently formed Financial Action Task Force (FATF), based in Paris, has through global coordination managed to crack down on our errant neighbour. In addition to placing it on a “grey list” of nations that have not done quite enough to stop terror financing, it has put a wringer on its economy by cracking down on the age-old hawala network and carefully monitoring global transactions into and out of Pakistan over the past year. India, being a key member of the FATF and part of its governing council, has found a way to put pressure on Pakistan, impacting it deeply and button-holing it in a situation where even China cannot bail it out completely except buying time. Pakistani officials have been taking their sob story against India to world capitals, claiming that we are acting out of spite, but unsurprisingly their pleas are falling on deaf ears. Pakistan’s history of lying to the global community and its duplicity with the US during the war on terror are just some of the things that have come home to roost. India is rightly insisting that its troubled neighbour show more decisive action against terror-funding and smashing the networks established by terrorists such as Saeed. Obviously that would squeeze the funding cushion for exported militancy in Kashmir. But Pakistan will not truly reform until it is forced to do so with even more pressure. This despite the fact that its economy is on the verge of collapse, and if it wasn’t for the constant bailouts by China, it would be bankrupt by now. The bailouts also mean that it will become a Chinese economic colony going forward. Crying about India’s ‘unfairness’ will not help Pakistan out of this jam, decisive action against terrorists will. The ball is in Islamabad’s court, does it want a growing economy or continue to grow more Hafiz Saeeds?

Writer & Courtesy: The Pioneer

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