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‘Illicit money funds terrorist activities in Pak’

Pakistan`s Interior Minister said money earned from trafficking of drugs and arms is being used to finance terrorist activities in the country.



Islamabad: Pakistan`s Interior Minister
Rehman Malik on Friday said money earned from trafficking of
drugs and arms is being used to finance terrorist activities
in the country.

"I have strong indicators and data that terrorists have a
role in drug trafficking and other illegal activities to
generate quick money," Malik said at a ceremony where the UN
Office on Drugs and Crime and the Sustainable Development
Policy Institute (SDPI) released a report on Pakistan`s
"illegal economy".

Endorsing the findings of the report titled "Examining
the dimensions, scale and dynamics of the illegal economy: A
study of Pakistan in the region", Malik said global
cooperation is a must to curb organised transnational crimes.

He asked the world community to play its role in curbing
the production and trafficking of drugs, which are linked with
terrorism.

"Illicit trafficking of drugs, humans, timber and arms on
a global scale fuels conflicts and encourages violence.
"So the international community should take stringent
measures to stop them," he said.

Malik spoke on different dimensions of organised crime,
the regional and global dimensions of their networks and
funding and the absence of international cooperation to
counter these crimes.

He asked Western countries to help Pakistan improve its
law enforcement agencies through sharing of expertise,
equipments and training.

He suggested the formation of an international body for
investigating and taking action against illicit money, which
is one of the primary sources for funding terrorist
organisations.

Evidences suggest that terrorist organisations use
sophisticated methods to strengthen their networks and to
swiftly mobilise resources across the globe that are generated
through smuggling of drugs and illegal economy, he said.

Malik also highlighted the need for united action to
address problems originating in Afghanistan.

The NATO and US authorities in Afghanistan have failed to
stop the open cultivation of poppy in Afghanistan and money
from this trade directly fuels terrorism as it is widely used
for weapons, training and other needs of terrorist groups, he
said.
The Pakistan government has lodged complaints to NATO but
it avoided action against poppy cultivation "ostensibly due to
their limited mandate", Malik said.

Sharing the findings of a study, Qasim Ali Shah of SDPI
recommended that efforts to curb the illegal economy should be
made part of the development agenda framework,
capacity-building of law enforcement agencies and
international cooperation.

The illegal economy is a "subset of the informal economy
and its size and scale in Pakistan has not been investigated
so far", Shah said.

Pakistan`s informal economy is estimated at USD 34
billion while the illegal economy is estimated at USD 1.2 to
1.5 billion.

Shah said 44 per cent of the heroin produced in
Afghanistan transits through Pakistan.

Abid Suleri, executive director of SDPI, said it was the
shared responsibility of the international community to
collectively deal with this menace as no country or region can
control it.

Jeremy Douglas, representative of UNODC in Islamabad,
said the illegal economy is unfortunately a neglected area
within the mainstream development discourse despite its impact
on human security at various levels.

He said this was the first time such a study had been
conducted in Pakistan and its primary aim was to estimate the
scale and size of the illegal economy and to understand its
dynamics.

PTI

From Zee News

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