ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is left with no option but to take over operations of two proscribed organisations — the Jamaat-ud-Daawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation — as the country has started taking ‘demonstrable measures’ to ensure that these entities can no longer carry out fundraising and operations on their own.

The authorities believe that these actions are required to alleviate concerns of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and address the deficiencies in its Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Counter Financing Terrorism (CFT) regime identified in the nomination proposals to place the country in the grey list of FATF.

“The government needs to demonstrate that these entities are fully under government’s control,” suggests a letter written by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Minister for Finance and Revenue and Economic Affairs Miftah Ismail.

At present, the country is busy in preparing an action plan for addressing the deficiencies in its AML/CFT regime. The foreign secretary says: “There is a need for taking demonstrable measures to satisfy the concerns that these entities can no longer carry out fundraising and operations on their own and they are fully under government control”. The letter, a copy of which is exclusively available with The Nation, further says that “while the nomination proposal raised a number of new issues, it also continued to focus on the lack of implementation on UN Security Council Resolutions 1267 and 1373 on JuD and FIF”.

Recently, the government has taken a number of actions to address this issue including issuing an ordinance on February 8 to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and the commencement of takeover of moveable and immovable assets of the two entities by the federal and provincial governments and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

The foreign secretary says that: “Completion of these actions is critical for our credibility and to demonstrate our political commitment to this issue. This would strengthen our position to negotiate a favourable Action Plan with FATF.”

Janjua says that “the recent development on this issue did not augur well. “The takeover of the assets of the two entities, done in cooperation with their leadership, appears to have stalled. While the Punjab government has been at the forefront of the takeover of the institutions run by the two entities, the government of Sindh has not cooperated in this effort.”

Moreover, she further says, “the action which the PRCS was required to take with regards to taking over the ambulances run by FIF also does not seem to be going anywhere.” She has suggested that “the government needs to urgently review its future course of action with regards to taking over of operations of the two entities.”

The government of Pakistan is going to discuss a draft action plan with the representatives of Asia Pacific Group. The action plan would be finalized in May in a meeting with FATF’s joint group for the Asia Pacific region, according to the sources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, the country has accelerated process for finalising the Anti-Terrorism (Freezing and Seizure) Rules, 2018, according to the sources. The properties of a proscribed organisation or proscribed person shall be seized in government favour. The draft rules suggest that the properties owned or controlled, wholly or partly, directly or indirectly, by a proscribed organization or a proscribed person, the properties owned or effectively controlled by any person acting on behalf of or at the direction of any proscribed organization or proscribed person, and the income, rents, profits, returns, and any other increase or addition to such properties are liable to be frozen or seized under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.