NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s action to place sanctions on Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and 26/11 attack accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Dawood Ibrahim was due to pressure from the Financial Action Task Force, government officials said here on Saturday.
However, they added that since Lakhvi and Dawood had merely been slapped by the Pakistan foreign ministry with a statutory regulatory order (SRO) that is not “prosecutable” and not designated as ‘individual terrorists’ under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the threat of being blacklisted will continue to loom when Pakistan’s delivery on the 27-point FATF action plan comes up for review on September 14, followed by the plenary meeting in October.
A source said the Pakistan’s decision to finally issue an SRO against Lakhvi and Dawood — who have escaped it all these years — is clearly an attempt to avoid blacklisting due to its failure to adequately deliver on FATF’s action plan. A government source insisted that 2015, 2019 statutory resolutions against Dawood appear to be back-dated. “If these were true then it would have been reflected in FATF records. Lakhvi and Dawood have never been mentioned by Pakistan in any official document till the 2020 statutory resolution,” an officer told TOI.
Pakistan is currently retained on the greylist.
Indian agencies feel Pakistan, notwithstanding its latest action against Dawood and Lakhvi, still faces the prospects of getting blacklisted by FATF in October as what has been issued are only statutory regulatory orders by its foreign ministry, which are not “prosecutable”. What India has been demanding is designating the two as ‘individual terrorists’ under Schedule 4 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA). This will enable registering of a criminal case against them under ATA. LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Jaish head Maulana Masood Azhar figure in Schedule 4 of ATA that lists 3,224 individuals.
As for Pakistan‘s SRO listing Ibrahim’s Karachi address, Indian officials said it means little as it only replicates the addresses cited in UNSC order designating him as a global terrorist. “It merely means that it if he is found at the addresses listed by UNSC, he will be taken into custody,” said an officer.
Pakistan has consistently denied the existence of Dawood Ibrahim on its soil. Even after UNSC proscribed Dawood and Lakhvi as individual terrorists, Pakistan has so far avoided proscribing them under its anti-terror law.
Lakhvi was the LeT operational commander during the 26/11 attacks and was constantly in touch with the 10-member fidayeen squad as they laid siege at multiple targets including the iconic Taj Hotel in Colaba. He passed on real-time instructions and motivational guidance to the attackers from a control room in Karachi.
Though Lakhvi was arrested after the Mumbai attacks, the trial against him and other accused in the 26/11 attack has progressed at a snail’s pace. In fact, Lakhvi is currently roaming free after being granted bail by the anti-terror court in Rawalpindi.


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