National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Monday accused Pakistan of providing a safe breeding ground to terrorists, and said it was under pressure from the Financial Action Task Force, reported NDTV. Doval’s comments come at a time when the global anti-terror watchdog is holding meetings in Paris to track steps taken by various countries to curb terror funding. The task force will decide if Islamabad should remain in the “grey list” of countries that have adopted inadequate measures to end financing of terrorism.

“The biggest pressure on Pakistan comes from the functionaries of the FATF, which is meeting now,” Doval said at a meeting of Anti-Terrorism Squad chiefs in Delhi. “Pakistan has been using terrorism as the instrument of state policy. We all know Pakistan sponsors terrorism but we need evidence which stands scrutiny internationally.” In June 2018, Pakistan was put on the “grey list” and given a 27-point action plan to implement in order to be taken off the list.

Last week, a regional arm of the Financial Action Task Force found that Pakistan failed to fully implement its obligations under a United Nations Security Council resolution against designated terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed and terror organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa. In the 228-page report, the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering said Pakistan had not complied with four of the 40 recommendations given by the FATF, had “partially complied” with 26 recommendations, “largely complied” with nine, and complied with only one.

In August, Pakistan had rejected Indian reports that the Financial Action Task Force’s Asia Pacific Group had placed Islamabad on an “enhanced blacklist” for non-compliance and non-enforcement of safeguards against terror financing and money laundering. In June, the global watchdog had warned Pakistan to complete an action plan on terror financing and urged Islamabad to meet the October 2019 deadline.

Doval in his speech also praised the National Investigation Agency for putting pressure on foreign agencies that are sponsoring terror in the Kashmir Valley. “NIA has been able to make tremendous contribution in its terror funding probe in Jammu and Kashmir,” he claimed, according to Hindustan Times. “This action put the pressure at the right place in foreign agencies which were running this”.

“We fight terrorism by taking away their weapons, cutting their financing and degrading their capabilities,” the national security advisor told the officers at the meeting. “Perception management is important. We must tell media what action we are taking. If we don’t, they speculate.”

Doval described the anti-terrorist squads as “soldiers against terrorism”. “Your task is not confined to just probe,” he said. “You are the total combatants in fight against terrorism. Only intelligence agencies won’t do it alone. Investigators’ aim is much beyond their FIR or chargesheet.”

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