Pakistan faces blacklisting by anti-terror financing body FATF: Nirmala Sithamaran

Defence Minister says India keeping up pressure

Pakistan is short of becoming a blacklisted country by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the multilateral body on terror financing, and India is making sure Pakistan is not let off the hook for allowing terrorists activities to emanate from its soil, Defence Minister Nirmala Sithamaran said on Sunday.

Speaking at a session organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation in Chennai, to celebrate Women’s Day, Ms. Sitharaman said, “When it came to the question of financial action that has to be taken against terror funding, the FATF as it is popularly called, Pakistan is short of becoming a black listed country. That’s also because we are making sure that Pakistan is not let off the hook.”

Reiterating India’s position on the IAF strike at Balakot, she said it was a targeted, pointed strike at a terror training camp. “We had intelligence enough, information enough, that it (terror) was where it was coming from, we preemptively acted on terror, so that it does not any longer go unattended,” she said. “This was what Pakistan should have done,” the Defence Minister said.

Ms. Sitharaman said it was one of the reasons why the international community stood behind India, since Pakistan has not acted against terror groups. She said globally think tanks are now talking about the narrative used by Pakistan that both countries are nuclear-armed and ‘if you cross, you will have to face the wrath of this country’s (Pakistan) nuclear force’. We (India) have challenged that, with the action of February 26. We told you (to stop). You have not acted. We have acted,” Ms. Sitharaman said.

Responding to a question of modernisation of India’s armed forces, she said, “keeping them up to date was a top priority”. Although a lot of importance was being given to modernisation of the forces, with the warfare moving to technology-driven one, “no one will be able to ever do justice and keep on top of it. If you buy something today, it gets outdated next year,” and there’s a need to keep them updated on a regular basis, she said.

Later at a meeting of the BJP’s Namo Warriors, the party’s Tamil Nadu IT wing volunteers, she said it was due to the lack of decision making in the 10 years between 2004 and 2014, that upgradation of equipment did not happen. “You were sleeping for 10 years. You didn’t not think of the situation facing the Air Force, and kept asking ‘where is the money?’ Look at what happened. Only because our pilots were well trained and capable, did we manage. Is this right?” she asked.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 11:33:35 AM |

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