The federal government has issued United Nations Security Council Order 2019 to freeze the assets of proscribed organisations. Instructions have been issued by Ministry of Interior to provincial government for the implementation of this order which also contain the conditions of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) pertaining to counter terror financing. The charity wings and ambulances of banned organisations in Jamiate-u-Dawa and Falah-i- Insaneet foundations will also be seized. The UNSC Resolution numbering 1267 and 1373 deal with enlisting of terrorist organisations and Resolution Number 2325 empowers FATF to place a country on grey-list because of weak anti-money laundering and counter terror financing regimes and then move it to the black-list for its failure to stop money laundering and choke the sources of financing to terror groups.
Successive governments have remained reluctant to take strong action against the proscribed organisation. It is no longer a secret that in the past the mainstream ruling parties sought the electoral and security support of these organisations in general elections, the footages of which went viral on social media. It is PTI which showed the spine to take stern action against the banned outfits and restore the soft image of the Pakistan in the comity of nations. However, sole reliance on administrative measure alone will not suffice to achieve the desired results. Necessary legislation has to be done to strengthen the legal and institutional framework for choking the sources of financing to the banned organisations.
A 27 points compliance plan was given for implementation to curb this twin menace on which some progress has been made but FATF has listed 10 areas in which satisfactory results are required. The fresh findings of the FATF reveal that the financial regulators including SBP and SECP are still failing in their duty to effectively check money laundering. There was a loud talk of making legislation to strengthen the existing anti-money laundering laws but perhaps its submission to the parliament is being delayed because of razor thin majority of the ruling PTI in the National Assembly and absolute majority of the opposition parties in Senate. The international community is now very serious about financial crimes like money laundering as it may also include drugs’ money as well. The Financial Crimes Act has cone into force in UK in September, 2017 and in other world powers such laws are operational. In the prevailing global scenario no escape route is available. The passage and implementation of laws to strengthen the legal and institutional framework for curbing the menace of money laundering and terror financing will be the right action. It would be worthwhile that the leaderships of opposition political parties should not remain oblivious of the strong stance of international community against the twin menace of money laundering, terror financing and leniency shown to the internationally banned organisation. Hopefully, they will extend their full support to the ruling party in the parliament for the passage of the requisite legislation.