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FATF and the politics behind ‘terrorism’

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Pakistan is struggling hard to wriggle out of the Financial Action Task Force grey-list. Pakistan needs 15 out of 39 votes to get rid of the listing. But it may remain on the grey list if it gets only three votes.

The whole listing procedure looks biased as it does not accommodate Pakistan’s perception. The main allegation is that Pakistan harbors UN-designated terrorists. But, the yardstick with which the US measures its allegation is lopsided. The UN views ongoing freedom movement in the Jammu and Kashmir State, a disputed territory under UN resolutions, `terrorism’, aided by Pakistan.

Evolution of the term “terrorism” over time

In the historical context, the term meant different things to different individuals and communities. The oldest ‘terrorists’ were holy warriors who killed civilians. Recent examples of religious terrorists are Aum Shinrikyo (Japanese), Rabbi Meir Kahane and Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir (Jews). The Jewish-controlled media describes Hezbollah and Hamas as ‘religious terrorists’.

In the first century A.D Palestine, the Jews publicly slit the Romans’ throats, in the seventh century India, the thugs strangulated gullible passersby to please the Hindu Devi Kali, and the 19th century adherents of Narodnaya Volya (People’s Will) mercilessly killed their pro-Tsar rivals.

Read more: India ‘financing, organizing mercenary terrorists’ against CPEC: Pakistan

`Terrorist’ and `freedom fighter’ had been interchangeable labels subject to expediency. Not long ago, the US treated the Taliban as freedom fighters. Ronald Reagan accorded red-carpeted welcomes to Jalluddin Haqqani. Cuban terrorists were decorated in the US gallery as freedom fighters.

The term ‘terrorism’ received international publicity during the French reign of terror in 1793-94. It is now common to dub one’s adversary a ‘terrorist’. Doing so forecloses possibility of political negotiation and gives the powerful definer the right to eliminate the ‘terrorist’, an individual or a country. FATF is employed as a Sword of Damocles in the case of Pakistan.

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