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INTERNATIONAL

Terrorist Nation Pakistan To Remain In FATF ‘Grey List’

To comply with FATF conditions, the Islamic nation needs to amend foreign exchange laws within three months.

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PARIS (France): In a setback for Pakistan, the global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan in the Grey List’ for terror financing. The Pakistan government will have to pass amendments into Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Foreign Exchange Regulation laws within the next three months from the Parliament for complying with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) conditions.

The decision has been taken as Pakistan has failed to check the flow of money to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). 

The decision was taken at the Financial Action Task Force’s third and final plenary held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plenary was held under the Chinese Presidency of Xiangmin Liu.

Now, Pakistan will continue to remain in the Grey List till FATF’s next meeting to be held in October. The decision would make it difficult for Pakistan to get financial aid from the IMF, World Bank, ADB and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the nation which is in a precarious financial situation.


If Pakistan fails to comply with the FATF directive by October, there is every possibility that the global body may put the country in the ‘Black List’ along with North Korea and Iran.

A strong Indian delegation with experts on money laundering and terror financing participated in the half-day FATF plenary.

India has been maintaining that Pakistan extends regular support to terror groups like LeT, JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen, whose prime target is India, and has urged FATF to take action against Islamabad.


The FATF currently has 39 members including two regional organizations — the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.

Background:

The FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and placed 27 conditions for review for complying in one year, till Sept 2019. Pakistan was so far given three extensions of three months each, every time to comply with 27-point action plans.

Out of the 27-point action plan, the FATF had so far declared Pakistan fully compliant on 14 points and now there is a deadline of September/October 2020 for complying on the remaining 13 points in a bid to ensure exit from the grey list of the watchdog.

According to the list of the remaining 13 points of 27 action plan are:

  • (1) Pakistan will have to demonstrate the effectiveness of sanctions including remedial actions to curb terrorist financing in the country;
  • (2) Pakistan will have to ensure improved effectiveness for terror financing of financial institutions with particular to banned outfits;
  • (3) Pakistan will have to take actions against illegal money or value transfer services (MVTS) such as hundi-hawala;
  • (4) Pakistan will have to place sanction regime against cash couriers;
  • (5) Pakistan will have to ensure logical conclusion from ongoing terror financing investigation of law enforcing agencies (LEAs) against banned outfits and proscribed persons;
  • (6) Pakistani authorities will have to ensure international cooperation based investigations and convictions against banned organisations (list provided to Pakistan) and proscribed persons (list provided to Pakistan);
  • (7) The country will have to place effective domestic cooperation between Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and LEAs in the investigation of terror financing;
  • (8) Prosecution of banned outfits and proscribed persons (list provided to Pakistan);
  • (9) Demonstrate convictions from the court of law of banned outfits and proscribed persons (list provided to Pakistan);
  • (10) Seizure of properties of banned outfits and proscribed persons (list provided to Pakistan);
  • (11) Conversion of madrassas to schools and health units into official formations (list provided to Pakistan);
  • (12) To cut off funding of banned outfits and proscribed persons; and
  • (13) Pakistan will have to place a permanent mechanism for management of properties and assets owned by the banned outfits and proscribed persons (list provided to Pakistan).
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ECONOMY-DEVELOPMENT

BANNED: 59 Chinese Mobile Apps That Threaten India’s Sovereignty And Integrity

There have been acute concerns relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of Indians.

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NEW DELHI: The government of India on Monday announced the ban of 59 Chinese apps in the country. A day later one of the most popular short video applications TikTok has been taken down from Apple App Store and also Google Play Store. The government has called the decision “a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace & to safeguard interests of crores of Indian mobile/internet users“.

Also Read:
(1) TikTok Underlines Need For Data Protection Bill
(2) Zoom App IS NOT SAFE: Amit Shah-Headed MHA Issues Advisory For Users

Courtesy: PIB, GoI

Electronics and IT Ministry said in a release that these apps were banned in view of the information available they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the country, defence of the country and security of a state and public order.


Geopolitics and international relations (IR) experts believe that the move is an exercise of coercive diplomacy that has, as the starting point, opted for a low-denomination item — mobile app — that has a limited impact on Indian businesses but one that has a disproportionately large presence in the mass consumer segment.

Two months ago, in April, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, made it mandatory for foreign direct investment from neighbouring countries to take prior government approval.

This was also aimed at curbing opportunistic takeovers/ acquisitions of Indian companies during times of the Covid-19 pandemic, when valuations were at new lows.


Over the last few years, India has emerged as a leading innovator when it comes to technological advancements and a primary market in the digital space.

At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of the country.

The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.

The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.


This Ministry has also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to the operation of certain apps.

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding the security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues.

Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India.

There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.

On the basis of these and upon receiving recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the government has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet-enabled devices.

The Scale/Impact:

TikTok had nearly 119 million active users in India and was among the top 10 apps on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Users who still have the TikTok app on their mobile phone can still be able to use it, however, the app can’t be downloaded anymore. Most other Chinese apps banned in India are still available for download.

It must be noted that if you have the app installed on your phone you will still be able to see it on Google Play store. Once you uninstall it the TikTok app will not be visible.

For users who have the TikTok app download can still use the app and post videos but officially the platform is now banned in the country.


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INTERNATIONAL

4 Gunmen Attack Pakistan Stock Exchange Building In Karachi

All four attackers who attempted to storm the Stock Exchange compound in Karachi killed.

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KARACHI (Pakistan): At least four gunmen attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) building in Karachi on Monday. As per reports, two citizens were killed while three others left injured in the terror attack.  The terrorists launched a grenade attack at the main gate and entered the building after opening indiscriminate firing, reported Geo News.

Initial reports said that four terrorists, a little before 10 am, came out of their vehicle and threw grenades after which they entered the compound and opened fire. At least two civilians have been so far reported dead while multiple injuries have been confirmed.

Police surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi said that five bodies and seven injured, including policemen, have been brought at the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.


PSX Managing Director Farrukh Khan termed the attack as “serious and unfortunate”. While speaking to Geo News, he said the number of people in the compound was lesser than normal due to the Covid-19 situation.

He said that the terrorists had been intercepted outside the entrance and only one of them had entered the compound. None of them entered the trading hall or the building.

The building is in a high-security zone and also houses the head offices of many private banks.


A police officer and a security guard stationed outside the building were among those wounded.

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COVID19

COVID-19 Worldwide: 1,00,00,000 Cases And Mounting

Brazil and the U.S. together represent 49% of the newly reported cases globally.

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GENEVA (Switzerland): In a ghastly reminder to administrations across the world that the COVID-19 pandemic is nowhere near running its course, the deaths from the coronavirus worldwide topped 500,000 and infections surged past one crore.

A tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University registered the milestone on June 28, after India and Russia added thousands of new cases. The United States has confirmed more than 25 lakh infections, the most in the world.

The global number of reported coronavirus fatalities stands at 500,108, according to figures gathered by Johns Hopkins University in the United States. Meanwhile, the total number of infections worldwide stands at 10,063,319.


Worryingly, Hopkins reports only confirmed coronavirus cases, which many healthcare experts believe could be just about the 10th of the total people infected by the virus. The belief stems from the argument that lakhs and lakhs of people worldwide either do not have means to get tested or are not getting tested because they don’t carry any symptoms.

Though faring better than the world in almost all parameters in its fight against the pandemic, India stands at third position with cases surpassing 5.5 lakh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country must focus on bolstering the economy while exiting lockdown.

On June 28, India reported additional 19,906 confirmed cases, taking its total to nearly 529,000 with 16,095 deaths.

The World Health Organization reported almost 190,000 new cases for the 24-hour period through early Sunday, after Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this month that the pandemic has entered “a new and dangerous phase.”


The global epicentre of the coronavirus is continuing to shift. First, it was China, then Europe, and now developing countries with weaker health-care systems like Brazil and India are reeling.

The U.S. and Brazil together represent 49% of all new infections, according to the WHO’s data for the latest 24 hours. Cases from the Americas account for 62% of the 189,077 new infections, followed by 13% from Southeast Asia and 8.8% from Europe.

The country with the second-highest number of recorded cases is Brazil, with a total of 13 lakh, and more than 57 thousand deaths.

Russia reported 6 lakh 633 thousand 542 cases and more than nine thousand deaths so far.

Meanwhile, China has imposed a strict lockdown near Beijing to curb a fresh outbreak. Nearly half a million people will be barred from travelling in and out of Anxin county in the province of Hebei


The first cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed on Jan 10 in Wuhan in China, before infections and fatalities surged in Europe, then the United States, and later Russia.

The total number of cases continued to increase at a rate of between 1-2 per cent a day in the past week, down from rates above 10 per cent in March.

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