Pakistan has included the names of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and a few more Taliban leaders in its own list of terrorists, and imposed an assets freeze, arms embargo, and travel ban on them, The Hindu reported on Saturday.
The names were part of a list of 88 terrorists that came after the United National Security Council’s designations. This is the first time Pakistan as acknowledged Ibrahim, mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, as a terrorist.
The decision was made in an attempt to show Pakistan’s commitment towards the Financial Action Task Force, which has retained the country on its “grey list” and gave it time in February to achieve full compliance with its 27-point action plan to avoid being put into the “black list”.
“As of August 18, 2020, the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee has approved the entries specified below to its list of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2368 (2018) adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,” a statutory Regulatory Order by the Pakistani foreign ministry read.
Two notifications on the matter were issued by the Pakistani government on August 18. The orders also mandate seizure of all movable and immovable assets of the groups and individuals. The individuals have been prohibited from transferring money through financial organisations, The News International reported.
Mohammad Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Mullah Fazlullah and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi are among others who have been named in the list. The order also banned terror organisations, including the LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has listed Ibrahim’s last few addresses and mentioned that he has five passports issued by the country. However, all of them were tagged under “misuse”. Ibrahim’s address has been listed in Karachi, along with his other properties.
The United Nations designated Azhar a global terrorist in May, which came with travel bans, a freeze on assets and an embargo on acquiring arms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had then termed it a big victory in the fight against terrorism. The Ministry of External Affairs had said it was a step in the right direction “to demonstrate the international community’s resolve to fight against terrorism and its enablers”.
India, which is a member of the Financial Action Task Force, has repeatedly asked Pakistan to take necessary steps to meet international standards in stopping financial crimes. Being on a blacklist of the financial watchdog has the potential to severely cripple and isolate a country financially, which could lead to a downgraded credit rating and denial of loans and developmental assistance. Islamabad’s economy is already struggling with a balance of payment crisis.