ISLAMABAD - The government on Friday directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and other relevant departments to identify and block all means of funding to terrorists in the country.

The federal government asked the central bank to block all accounts, financial transactions and any other possible means of funding to the banned militant outfits, suspected individuals, shadowy NGOs and any other kind of organisation having connection with militant or terrorist activities.

The decision was taken in a special review meeting of implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism held in the PM Secretariat under the chair of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The directions came as part of the state drive to curb the menace of terrorism in the aftermath of December 16 Peshawar army school attack in which more than 140 children were martyred by Taliban attackers.

The meeting decided that the bank accounts of Afghan nationals would also be filtered by the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) of SBP in coordination with Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the intelligence agencies, and all information would be shared with Nacta for scanning all such accounts as could be involved in suspected transactions. All business transactions and bank accounts that are operating without due legal requirements should be blocked, the chair directed.

SBP’s special unit (FMU) is already monitoring suspected transactions taking place in any bank operating in the country and according to its report, it had frozen more than 1 billion rupees belonging to proscribed organisations, and has sent 34 suspected transaction reports (STRs) to difference investigation agencies of the country.

It was also decided that a databank and monitoring network would be established to oversee the activities of all the banned organisations to prevent re-emergence of all such organisations under any name.

There are as many as 72 proscribed organisations on the Interior Ministry’s list which the government is now reviewing. It has recently launched a fresh audit to see how many banned organisations were still operating in the country with the new names or how many new militant organisations have emerged.

The meeting decided that over 100 million unverified SIMs would be verified within the next 85 days after which the possessing or sale of any unregistered/unverified SIM would be made a cognizable offence. This will help not only in tracking down the unverified SIMs connected with terrorism but also curb the massive grey trafficking.

The Ministry of Information Technology was asked to work in close collaboration with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), intelligence agencies and international monitors to close down all terrorism-related websites and web-based messaging services and other terrorism-related material on the Internet and social media.

It was further decided that the registration of Afghan refugees, which has already been started, would be put on fast track and all Afghan refugees would be shifted back to camps at the earliest. The CDA was directed to chalk out a detailed plan in consultation with Islamabad police and the capital district administration within a week to identify illegal/unregistered Afghan refugees in and around the capital in order to facilitate their movement to their camps. It was also decided to demolish all illegally constructed high structures near sensitive installations in Islamabad.

A detailed discussion took place on Madrassas (seminaries) suspected of having connections with militants and terrorists and it was decided to take final decision on the matter after a meeting with heads of all major seminary bodies of the country today (Saturday).

Minister of State for IT and Telecom Ms Anusha Rehman, special assistants to PM Khawaja Zaheer and Barrister Zafar Ullah; federal secretaries of interior, finance, law and SAFRON; DGs of IB and FIA; ISI director (Counter Terrorism); Nacta national coordinator; chairmen of FBR, PTA and CDA; and Islamabad IG were prominent attendants of the meeting.