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“Jihadists” considered as assets by Pak against India and Afghanistan, says European researcher

Brussels: Pakistan has been continuing struggle to exit from Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list, a European researcher has said that jihadists are still considered by Pakistan’s security sector agents as an ‘asset’ against India and Afghanistan.

Dr Siegfried O Wolf, Director of Research at South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) in Brussels said, “It remains highly unlikely that Pakistan will conduct satisfactory action against banned organisations.”

“Even if the civilian government of PM Imran Khan is considering respective actions against the country’s jihadists, one must expect that the army top brass and the ISI will undermine any substantial or decisive action against them,” he added.

In recent years, Islamabad had pinned hopes of mainstreaming the militant groups, particularly the Lashkar-e-Taiba, into politics. However, their poor performance in the elections destroyed their political ambitions as they were not supported by the people.

“The so-called ‘political mainstreaming’ of Islamist organisations is an extremely dangerous step which led to additional truncations of democracy in Pakistan,” he added.

“Islamists are rejecting democracy and consensus-based political decision-making,” said the researcher.

“The country’s financial sector will be affected the most. In addition, the external sector (trade) will face difficulties due to sanctions and/or restrictions by international institutions. It will be even more difficult to get bailouts (loans) from organisations like the IMF or the World Bank,” he added.

According to Pakistani newspaper Dawn, being on the FATF grey list is already causing an estimated loss of $10 billion per year to Pakistan.

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