LAHORE - An aggressive cross country operation is being planned to neutralise the terror financiers under the lead of state’s premier security services, it is learnt reliably.

The development took place against the backdrop of recent national apex committee meeting at prime minister’s office. One of the main agenda items of the meeting was choking the funding of the terrorists.

Official sources told The Nation on Tuesday an elaborate operation to pin down the terror financiers is on the cards.

Efforts have already been on the ground to neutralise the fund raisers of the terrorists with the start of the operations against the terrorists in the country last year. However, these operations need more thrust and accuracy to completely cut down the lifeline of the scattered terrorists and their sleeper cells.

The sources said the operations would neutralise both active and inactive sleeper cells of the terror financiers. The active sleeper cells comprise the people managing finances of the terrorists presently. The inactive ones comprise the persons that can be made operational whenever the need arises.

The exercise would track the footprints of the terror financiers in the country and abroad, especially in Muslim countries. Within Pakistan, the primary target areas include Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad, Multan, Sialkot, Hyderabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas.

The linkages of the local terror financiers with their partners abroad would be detected. For this purpose the security services sections dealing with terrorism would also be given short-term orientation courses to equip them with new techniques to track the undocumented money transfer. The sources said services of the financial experts would also be sought.

Military and civilian security services would jointly take on the terror financiers. However, the military security sections would lead the action because of their better knowledge about the financial support of the terrorists as they have been actively dealing with them in major operations in tribal areas and Balochistan.

Civilian security services have already begun reviewing their strategy and planning to track the terror financiers following the directions of the government.

Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan Monday said a comprehensive system would be established in the country soon to choke terror funding. He said provincial governments, strategic agencies, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and other financial institutions as well as the FIA would be included in the system.

There is a need to determine and search the various modes of money transfer and identify facilitators in the whole chain funding terror networks. Under the current mechanism it was not possible for the financial monitoring unit of the finance ministry and the State Bank to achieve the objectives.

The minister said provinces, secret agencies and financial institutions would become part of a new strategy to plug dubious transactions. Plugging terror funding is an important component of the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism and extremism, and the government would not tolerate any leniency in this regard, he said. Army Chief General Raheel Sharif had said in his Defence Day address: “We shall not relent until all terrorists; their financiers, abettors, facilitators and sympathisers are brought to justice.”