Pakistan may have given information on Zawahiri to get money from the United States: report

Since the assassination of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul by the United States, questions have been raised about Pakistan’s involvement in providing the country with information on the terrorist’s whereabouts. Last week, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the head of the Pakistani army, asked for help from the United States to obtain an advance loan from the IMF. Moreover, according to sources, he had a phone conversation with US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, about his efforts to pull Pakistan out of the economic mess. The United States believes that the Taliban violated the agreement signed between the two by giving refuge to the leader of Al-Qaeda, ANI reported.

According to a Times of Israel report, experts believe the White House may have used pressure methods and sought a compromise with the country, with the United States supporting Pakistan during its financial crisis in exchange for the disclosure by the Pakistan information on the Al-Qaeda leader. Michael Rubin, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), observes that it is unclear where the drone that fired the two missiles at the terrorists’ home flew from. He further said that it would be much clearer that Bajwa was involved in the murder if the drones came from Pakistan.

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Michael argued that it was time for Pakistan to immediately hand over all Al-Qaeda assets and comply with all FATF counter-terrorism recommendations. He further said it was time for the Biden administration to exercise caution while allowing the South Asian country to profit from its continued support for terrorism.

Read also | US kills al-Qaeda terror group leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in drone strike in Afghanistan

As of June 2018, Pakistan has been on the “grey list” of countries with weak anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing policies by the Paris-based global watchdog.

Pakistan’s imports, exports, remittances and restricted access to foreign credit have all suffered from its addition to the gray list. The country was added to the list because it failed to implement global standards and made little effort in investigating and prosecuting leaders of UN-designated terrorist groups.

(With agency contributions)

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