Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar on 27th June 2018 pleaded the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an anti-money-laundering watchdog based in Paris, to remove the name of Pakistan from its grey list but its members have placed Pakistan on the list of countries that are not doing enough to combat terror financing i.e. in grey-list by FATF.
The decision, came as Pakistan removed the head of a hardline Sunni sectarian group from its terror watch list. Hasan Askari, the caretaker chief minister of Punjab province, confirmed to AFP that Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, head of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), was removed from the watchlist by the previous government. ASWJ is a radical Sunni group linked to violence against Pakistan’s minority Shiite Muslims.
Pakistan has seen a dramatic improvement in security in recent years, but analysts have long warned that the country is not getting to the root causes of extremism.
Two diplomatic sources in Islamabad told that Pakistan was targeted over its lack of action against Hafiz Saeed, and his charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).
“After unleashing Khadim Hussain Rizvi, mainstreaming Hafiz Saeed and the LeT, & decriminalizing ASWJ, did anyone expect anything but confirmation of FATF grey listing?” tweeted prominent columnist Mosharraf Zaidi.
Rizvi is another hardline leader whose group held protests in Islamabad last year which resulted in the country’s law minister being ousted over blasphemy allegations.
United States, Britain, Germany and France voted in favor of placing Pakistan on grey list during FATF meeting. On announcement of decision however China has condemned the move by saying that Pakistan has done a lot in against terrorism.
This has come in the wake of coming elections on 25th July 2018. If these pressures continued along with economic hardships than obviously all political parties including PML N, PTI and PPP would think to sit outside government as in short terms these issues are not going to be solved. PML N with fight against judiciary and establishment seems to have planned like this. Now PML N is seeing lot of defections after announcement of final list of candidates. This looks that somewhere planning is in effect to get a fragmented form of government or to get PTI elected. If elected, another round would start within PTI that who should be in the government, dividing party in to electable and ideological workers of PTI. This would turn in to anarchy with power in some hidden hands.
Terrorism in Pakistan has become a major and highly destructive phenomenon in past years. The annual death toll from terrorist attacks has risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009, with a total of 35,000 Pakistanis killed between 11 September 2001 and May 2011. According to government of Pakistan, the direct and indirect economic costs of terrorism from 2000–2018 comes around $ 200 billion.
Former President Asif Ali Zardari, along with former President and ex-Pakistan Army head Pervez Musharraf, have admitted that terrorist outfits were “deliberately created and nurtured” by past governments “as a policy to achieve some short-term tactical objectives” The trend began with Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq‘s controversial “Islamization” policies of the 1980s, under which conflicts were started against Soviet involvement in Afghanistan. Zia’s tenure as president saw Pakistan’s involvement in the Soviet–Afghan War, which led to a greater influx of ideologically driven Muslims (mujahedeen) to the tribal areas and increased availability of guns such as the AK-47 and drugs from the Golden Crescent.
At that time the state in alliance with the CIA and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia encouraged the “mujahedeen” to fight a proxy war against Soviet forces present in Afghanistan. Most of the mujahedeen were never disarmed after the war ended in Afghanistan.
From the summer of 2007 until late 2018, more than 70-80 thousand people from forces and civilians have been killed along with killings of innocent children at Army Public School and various other educational institutions. The presence of Islamist insurgent groups and forces such as the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba and others have put the Pakistan as the 10th most dangerous country by criminality index.
In the current political scenario most of defense analysts are defending Establishment in self-styled manner as still they are living in Zia or Musharraf era. But ground realities are now different and we need all institutions on one page i.e. to get Pakistan out of ongoing international and economic crisis.
No doubt India is not our friend nor do we have brotherly countries on our western boundaries, but we have to make strong within ourselves by targeting all terrorist groups without any discrimination.
There are three possible, and to some extent interlinked, scenarios under which Pakistan could become motivated to dramatically reduce or altogether cut support for the Taliban and the Haqqani networks, and perhaps even start targeting their networks in Pakistan:
- Pakistan-India relations to significantly improve by keeping Kashmir issue to be resolved through mutual dialogue by taking Kashmiris in to confidence.
- All institutions to be subordinated to an elected, enlightened, capable and accountable civilian leadership. That means that both the Pakistani establishment and the country’s civilian politicians would have to undergo a radical transformation; and
Pakistan to develop the political and physical resources, and wherewithal, to tackle its own internally-oriented and metastasizing terrorist groups, such as various Punjab Taliban groups: Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba, and the Islamic State in Pakistan. If those threats become mitigated, Pakistan may have more stomach to go after the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqanis. (for news please contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org WhatsApp # +923132434567)