News Analysis |
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has vowed to ban Hafiz Saeed’s Jamatud Dawa (JuD) and its welfare wing the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) while addressing the fourth International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management. The conference was held to discuss the use of space technology in water management to benefit developing countries.
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdul-Aziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) jointly organized the conference in Islamabad, which will be held from 26th February to 2nd March. The interior minister spoke on a number of issues from terrorism to improving Pakistan’s water system.
The placement on the FATF blacklist can have disastrous effects on the Pakistani economy and if Pakistan is added on the blacklist, it will be very hard to get out of it. Pakistan will not be able to get loans and funds from international organizations.
“Terrorism is a fatal poison for Pakistan. The National Action Plan is a programme of the Pakistani nation and is being fully implemented. Our measures are not directed to please any country,” Iqbal stated. Speaking about the water issue, the minister highlighted the importance of efficient water utilization owing to the rapid increase in population. He warned the audience of a worldwide water shortage and its impact on the global economy.
The government of Pakistan had earlier banned JuD, FIF and other organisations on the UNSC sanctions list. The notification was issued by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on 1st January 2018. Hafiz Saeed had blamed the government for taking dictation from US and India on banning his organisations. He challenged them to prove any illegal activities of the organisations in the court.
The move was followed by an ordinance signed by President Mamnoon Hussain on 12th February which amended a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 to enable authorities to move against individuals and organizations proscribed by the UNSC. After the ordinance, the federal government started seizing the assets of JuD and FIF under Anti-Terrorism Rules 2018. A notice was issued to the Punjab government in this regard to act against proscribed organizations.
Foreign investors will be reluctant to invest in Pakistan and sanctions might be placed on it. So far, Pakistan has successfully avoided the pitfall of being added to the list. Strategic experts believe that short term measures like enacting an ordinance to crackdown against proscribed organizations might not be very effective.
The mention of terrorism on a conference about water utilization has been considered absurd by many senior media persons. The very mention of terrorism shows insecurity on Pakistan’s end. The country has faced a number of allegations of funding and supporting terrorists by the US and India. The US also banned all military aid to Pakistan in January and accused it of harbouring terrorists. The interior ministry seemingly wanted to clear Pakistan’s image in front of an international crowd.
Pakistan barely avoided being placed on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) watch list in its plenary meeting in Paris last week. It is reported that the US exhausted all its efforts to place Pakistan on the list but it failed because of Turkey’s vote. Now Pakistan has to submit a detailed action plan in May and if the FATF approves it, Pakistan will be placed in the grey list; if it doesn’t then Pakistan will be placed on the black list with Iran and North Korea.
The placement on the FATF blacklist can have disastrous effects on the Pakistani economy and if Pakistan is added on the blacklist, it will be very hard to get out of it. Pakistan will not be able to get loans and funds from international organizations. Foreign investors will be reluctant to invest in Pakistan and sanctions might be placed on it. So far, Pakistan has successfully avoided the pitfall of being added to the list.
Strategic experts believe that short term measures like enacting an ordinance to crackdown against proscribed organizations might not be very effective. They have suggested that Pakistan needs proper legislation to ensure the international world of its commitment in the fight against terrorism. Acting against banned organizations will not only help to improve Pakistan’s image in the international arena but also improve the security situation at home.