India has termed Pakistani actions of sentencing of Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi and arrest warrant for Masood Azhar as ‘routine farcical actions’ done just ahead of the FATF meeting due next month. It has been more than 2 years that Pakistan remains at the FATF greylist due to non-fulfilment of its anti-terror financing commitments.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “the timing of these actions clearly suggests the intention of conveying a sense of compliance ahead of the APJG meeting and next FATF plenary meeting in February 2021.
“It has become routine for Pakistan to come up with such farcical actions prior to important meetings,” he added.
Lakhvi was sentenced on Friday by a Pakistani court for 15 years for terror financing. He was one of the key mastermind of 26/11, but in that case no action has been taken by Islamabad. Last year, another 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed was sentenced many times by Pakistani court for terror financing, and the warrant for Azhar comes even as at FATF Islamabad claimed no knowledge on his location.
The MEA spokesperson said, “UN proscribed entities and designated terrorists act as proxies for Pakistani establishment to fulfil its anti-India agenda.
“It is for the international community to hold Pakistan to account and ensure that it takes credible action against terror groups, terror infrastructure and individual terrorists,” the spokesperson added.
It is interesting to point out, Pakistan had gone to United Nations security Council to get ‘basic expense for both Saeed and Lakhvi’. Both are United Nations listed international terrorist. Islamabad had defended the move saying the ‘exemption was in line with the established procedures and practices of the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee’.
Asset freeze exemptions can be granted for what is called basic expenses for provisions such as payment for foodstuff, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment etc. What is shocking is that the basic expense stands at around Pak 1,50,000 rupees a month, an amount that has raised eyebrows in many global capitals including New Delhi.