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Pakistan may remain on FATF grey list, but only one of 40 recommendations fully complied with

FATF’s Asia-Pacific Group said Pakistan has complied with just one of its 40 recommendations and has failed to implement a UNSC resolution against Hafiz Saeed and other UN-designated terrorists, as well as outfits like Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

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Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

Pakistan has complied with just one the 40 recommendations set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) of global terror financing watchdog said today, Monday, Oct 7.

It also said Pakistan has failed to fully implement a UN Security Council resolution against Hafiz Saeed and other UN-designated terrorists, as well as outfits like Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to media reports.

The APG’s much awaited ‘Mutual Evaluation Report’ running into 228 pages was released on Saturday, ten days ahead of the key FATF plenary meeting which will give its decision on Pakistan’s ‘grey list’ status.

It said: “After the APG report, chances are high that Pakistan would be retained on the grey list during the FATF plenary meetings from October 13 to 18 in Paris.”

Pakistan was placed on the grey list in June last year and given a plan of action to complete by October 2019 or face the risk of being placed on the black list with Iran and North Korea.

According to the report, out of FATF’s 40 recommendations on curbing money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, Pakistan was fully compliant only on one. It was largely compliant on nine, partially compliant on 26 and non-compliant on four recommendations, The Express Tribune reported.

“Pakistan has not taken sufficient measures to fully implement UNSCR 1267 obligations against all listed individuals and entities – especially those associated with Lashkar-eTayyiba (LeT) / Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) as well as the groups,” the FATF report read, according to a report by news agency ANI.

“Pakistan should adequately identify, assess and understand its ML (Money Laundering) / TF (Terror Financing) risks including transnational risks and risks associated with terrorist groups operating in Pakistan such as Da’esh, AQ, JuD, FiF, LeT, JeM, HQN, and this should be used to implement a comprehensive and coordinated risk-based approach to combating ML and TF,” the report added.

The APG report, however, applauded Pakistan’s efforts to combat corruption.

The APG report also states that Pakistan faces high risks of money laundering and terror financing and it needs to improve the understanding of these risks that are also animating from various terrorist groups operating in the country.

The report disagreed with Pakistan’s self-assessment that it only faces “medium” category risks, saying that national regulators like the State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan – had very limited understating of money laundering and terror financing regimes.

In its National Risk Assessment report, Pakistan did not believe that money laundering and terrorism financing were high-risk category areas.

Contrary to the assessment by Pakistan that its overall terror financing risk assessment is “medium”, Pakistan faces significant risk of terror financing both from legitimate and illegitimate sources as well as weak or no, regulation and supervision of certain sectors such as hawala/hundi, NPOs (Non-Profit Organisation) and DNFBPs (Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions) and porous borders, according to the report.

“The terror financing cases are identified by a number of mechanisms but not via financial intelligence,” the report said.

“Competent authorities have varying levels of understanding of the country’s money laundering and terror financing risks, and the private sector has a mixed understanding of risks,” the report said.

There are no measures in place to address the money laundering and terror financing risks posed by trusts, including foreign trusts, and waqfs in Pakistan, the report said.

The report advised that Pakistan should significantly enhance the use of financial intelligence in money laundering, terror financing, and predicate crime cases, particularly the use of financial intelligence to target terrorist groups and higher- risk predicate crimes.

The terrorist groups operating in Pakistan are reported to include but not limited to ISIS-Khorasan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Quetta Shura Taliban, Haqqani Network and Lashkar-e-Taiba (including its affiliates Jamaat ud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation), which raise funds through a variety of means, including direct support, public fundraising, abuse of NPOs and though criminal activities, the report added.

Blacklisting by FATF entails being downgraded by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and facing negative assessments from credit rating agencies such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.

India and other member countries of the FATF have charged Pakistan with failing to take concrete action against Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and other UN-designated terrorists, pointing out that its anti-terror law still remains out of sync with standards set by the international body.

Pakistan contends it has done enough by seizing over 700 properties belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamaat-ud-Daawa, Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation and the Jaish-e-Mohammed but India and other FATF members have pointed out that seizures do not necessarily indicate compliance.

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Cabin crew members on SkyWest airplane fight over first class seat, flight delays by an hour

Reports said the incident happened on March 12 when the flight was about to take off from Los Angeles to Houston.

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SkyWest Airline

Seems like aviation atrocities are not going to end anytime soon. Recently, a SkyWest flight got delayed for an hour after a clash broke out between two flight attendants.

Reports said the incident happened on March 12 when the flight was about to take off from Los Angeles to Houston. A video, now-deleted, was shared by a passenger, Ashley Brewer wherein a male flight attendant was seen arguing with his woman colleague after a disagreement.

Reportedly, a woman passenger requested the male flight attendant if she could exchange seats with a person in the economy to sit beside her husband during the journey. The male attendant agreed, however, his colleague refused.

This disagreement triggered the crew members to bicker about the airline’s rules and regulations. Things turned ugly when the female flight attendant decided to leave the aircraft. Further, the gate crew handled the situation and replaced both crew members.

After the incident came to light, the SkyWest flight responded to it and claimed that the airline was not aware of the situation.

The company, in a statement, said it regrets the action of its staff members and also apologised for the inconvenience. It further apologised to the passengers onboard for the delay and informed them that an internal investigation is being conducted in connection to the incident.

A few days back, as many as 30 international passengers flying from Colombo became the victims of a human error at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. Reports said the passengers arrived on a Sri Lankan Airlines flight UL 173 and were dropped off at the domestic arrivals bus gate and entered the domestic baggage claim.

The passengers affected were shifted immediately to the international arrivals area for immigration after the airport staff members were alerted by the authorities. The airport spokesperson called it a human error.

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Khalistan supporters attack Indian consulate in San Francisco, graffiti demanding Amritpal’s freedom sprayed on walls

As per the reports, various videos of the Indian consulate attack by Pro-Khalistani supporters surfaced. The videos were reportedly recorded by the mob of attackers themselves. It was also reported that the mob of Khalistani attackers vandalised the Indian consulate building and damaged the glass windows.

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Khalistan supporters attack Indian

Punjab maybe under a mobile internet shutdown since Saturday last but the Central government’s attempt to arrest Khalistani supporter Amritpal Singh reverbrated across the world with pro-Khalistan supporters attacking the Indian consulate in San Francisco, USA. This is despite the lack of mobile internet in Punjab.

In San Francisco, protesters sprayed graffiti on the consulate saying “Free Amritpal”. Close aides of the self-styled successor of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale are being rounded up and are being booked under tough statutes. The reflowering of the Khalistan call on Indian soil has been irking the government since the attack on a Punjab Police station by Amritpal and his hardline supporters.

Earlier in the day, the Indian High Commission in London saw the tricolour being lowered by Khalistani elements. This prompted a swift response from India on the London incident by summoning a senior British diplomat.

As per the reports, various videos of the Indian consulate attack by Pro-Khalistani supporters surfaced. The videos were reportedly recorded by the mob of attackers themselves. It was also reported that the mob of Khalistani attackers vandalised the Indian consulate building and damaged the glass windows.

Read Also: Canada Sikh student attacked, turban ripped, dragged by hair in British Columbia

The episode transpired after few employees of the Indian consulate removed few Khalistani flag which was installed near the consulate building. Upon witnessing the flags being taken down by the employees, the protesting Khalistani supporters outside the consulate broke through the barricades and charged at the employees. The employees, however, were able to flee and rush into the Indian consulate house.

The agitated the supporters then went on to vandalise the Indian consulate building while loud Punjabi music was played in the background, said reports.

Indian High commission in London, after the episode of the Tricoulour was pulled down and replaced with Khalistani flag earlier, proceeded to install a huge Indian National flag in a bid to counter the pro-Khalistani supporters.
The move by the Indian High Commission in London was also lauded by many.

After the London incident transpired, the External Affairs ministry summoned British deputy high commisioner on Sunday seeking arrest and prosecutuion of the people invovled in the incident.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemns pro-Khalistan protest at Indian High Commission

Amritpal Singh case: Punjab government extends internet ban till tomorrow noon

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemns pro-Khalistan protest at Indian High Commission

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Monday, strongly condemned the attempted storming of the Indian High Commission in the UK city by pro-Khalistan protesters who also tried to pull down the Indian flag from atop the building.

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Khalistan protest in London

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Monday, strongly condemned the attempted storming of the Indian High Commission in the UK city by pro-Khalistan protesters who also tried to pull down the Indian flag from atop the building.

In a tweet, Khan condemned “the violent disorder and vandalism that took place”, adding that such kind of behavior has no place in London.

Top UK government officials have also condemned the vandalism at the Indian Commission as “disgraceful” and “completely unacceptable” and assured that the British government will take security of the premises “seriously.”

According to a statement by the Metropolitan Police an investigation has been launched into the incident in which two security staff members sustained minor injuries but did not require hospital treatment.

Scotland Yard issued a statement saying they received calls reporting a disorder on Sunday afternoon, adding that a suspect has been arrested and investigations are underway.

In a tweet Foreign Office minister Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon said he was he was “appalled” and the government would take the security of the Indian High Commission “seriously”.

The British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis termed the incident as “disgraceful” and “totally unacceptable”.

Read Also: Supreme Court to hear pleas seeking CBI probe into 2020 Palghar mob lynching case

On Sunday, protesters shouting loud pro-Khalistani slogans and waving pro Khalistani flags, tried to vandalize the Indian flag after they attempted to storm the Indian High Commission in the UK capital.

The visuals from the incident have gone viral on social media platforms as users demand stern action against those responsible for the desecration and also demand an explanation from the British authorities for allowing such an incident to happen.

India registered their strong protest to the incident. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi was summoned late evening on Sunday to convey India’s “strong protest” at the actions taken by separatist and extremist elements against the Indian High Commission in London.

The MEA said India has demanded an explanation for the “complete absence” of British security at the premises which allowed the separatist elements to enter the commission grounds.

They said the diplomat was also reminded of UK government’s basic obligations under the Vienna Convention.

The MEA in its statement said that India finds the British government’s “indifference” to the security of Indian mission’s premises and personnel as unacceptable and expects the UK government to take immediate steps “to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved” in the incident, and put in place stringent measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

Amid the massive crackdown on pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh in Punjab, Sikhs For Justice—a proscribed outfit—is conducting its “Referendum 2020” in its push for a separate nation for Sikhs in India.

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