Pakistan pares down terrorist numbers in PoK to convince FATF

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With an aim to exit the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Islamabad is planning to reduce the number of terrorists in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), according to security sources.

According to the sources, there are about 70 terrorists present in PoK currently, compared to the 125 in March last year.

They also said that Pakistan was forced to take such initiatives as it was is facing problems in getting financial assistance from international institutions due to the FATF listing.

In its last plenary session held on March 4, the Paris-based global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog decided to keep Pakistan on its grey list for an extended period of four more months and asked Islamabad to comply with the deficiencies remaining from two respective action plans.

According to the FATF, Pakistan has addressed seven money laundering-related ‘Action Plan’ items within an unprecedented timeframe and fulfilled 26 out of 27 terror financing-related targets.

The country is now just two items away from completing both its FATF action plans

Pakistan has been on the grey list since June 2018 for its inability to check money laundering, terror financing but in subsequent years, he failed to meet the criteria fixed by the FATF.

Reacting to Pakistan’s latest initiative, officials deployed in the security grid in Jammu and Kashmir said the numbers were also reduced because of the coordinated counter-terror operations, due to which the terrorists are hesitant of infiltrating into the valley.

“It is surprising that the number of ultras are less in PoK despite the fact that March is a conducive month for infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir as the snow starts melting in the border areas. Last year, we had conclusive evidence that over 125 terrorists were present in the various locations in PoK close to Jammu and Kashmir’s borders,” one of the officials said.

He added that although Pakistan has reduced the number of terrorists in PoK, “it will keep on pushing the terrorists and over ground workers to execute the terror activities” and this could be seen in the recent spurt in violence in the valley.

Reacting to FATF’s decision on March 4, 2022, the Pakistani authorities had said that their country will fulfil the remaining action plans soon.

However, Central security agencies have been maintaining strict vigils at the infiltration corridors via Krishna Ghati in Poonch, Bimber Gali in Nowshera of Rajori, Sunderbani in Hiranagar of Kathua, Keran in Uri in Tangdhar.

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