To prevent a demotion from the Financial Action Task Force’s grey record to the blacklist, Pakistan has issued ‘a statutory notification’ ordering full compliance with UN Security Council sanctions against Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network.
According to the document that was made public late on Friday, the government has issued sweeping financial sanctions against Afghanistan’s Taliban and and groups associated with the militant group.
The orders, which got public attention at large, identified dozens of Taliban personnel, including the Taliban’s chief peace negotiator Abdul Ghani Baradar along with many members of the Haqqani network.
“The sanctions are being implemented by Pakistan in compliance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and we hope that other countries will also follow suit,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement quoted by Pakistan’s Daily Times.
“The SRO issued by Pakistan on 18 August 2020 only consolidates and documents the previously announced SROs as a procedural measure and does not reflect any change in the Sanctions List or sanction measures,” Zahid Chaudhri, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said in statement on Friday.
The sanctions are against a total of 88 individuals associated with different terrorist groups across the region. This includes the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Afghan-Taliban, Daesh and al-Qaeda. The government has also banned the individuals from traveling abroad by declaring their passports illegal.
Pakistan is pulling efforts to get off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s grey list.
The Financial Action Task Force is a Paris-based organization which monitors money laundering and tracks terrorist groups’ activities. Last year, Islamabad was put in the Paris-based group’s “grey list”.
The grey list is a list of countries whose financial systems are considered vulnerable to exploitation because of their weaknesses. Until now only Iran and North Korea are blacklisted, which severely restricts a country’s international borrowing capabilities.
The SRO, as it is called in the official lingo, was issued ahead of the upcoming review of Pakistan’s progress against terrorist financing and money laundering by the Financial Action Task Force. This decision was made as a part of the government’s efforts to avoid being demoted to the blacklist by the global illicit-financing watchdog.
Further in this regard, a number of laws have also recently been passed by the Pakistani parliament for compliance with the FATF requirements for the country’s removal from the ‘grey list’.
So far, there has been no immediate response from the Afghan Taliban in this regard, but many of the group’s leaders are known to own businesses and properties in the neighbouring country.