US retains Lashkar’s terror tag, casts a shadow over Pak’s chances at FATF

By Hindustan times

The US administration has reviewed and retained the Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) designation for the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba along with seven other groups including the Pakistan-based Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, a US State Department statement has said. The Lashkar-e-Tayyiba was first notified as a terror group by the United States in December 2001.

The US State Department order comes ahead of the Financial Action Task Force meeting next month that will assess the progress made by Pakistan to curb terror financing. The global watchdog didn’t seem to agree with Islamabad’s pitch that it was taking concrete steps to fix gaps in its laws to check terror financing and should be taken off the grey list. At the end of the last review in October, FATF president Marcus Pleyer cautioned that Pakistan could not take forever to deliver on its commitments and repeated failure to deliver would result in the country being put in the blacklist.

Pakistan was put in FATF’s grey list in 2018 after the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog pointed out failing to control terror financing and money laundering.

But Islamabad is yet to take any concrete action and the Pakistani deep state continues to support terrorist activities in India and Afghanistan. Over the last month, however, Pakistan has gone on an overdrive to impress the FATF.

Last week, a Pakistani court sentenced Lashkar-e-Tayyiba commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi to 15 years jail in a terror-financing case.

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