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SOURCE: PTI

India on Saturday offered to host a permanent secretariat to deal with antimoney laundering and combating the financing of terrorism issues under the global ‘No Money for Terror’ initiative.

The offer was made at the third ‘No Money for Terror’ conference which concluded on Saturday. During deliberations, India sensed the need for permanency of this unique initiative of No Money for Terror (NMFT), in order to sustain continued global focus on countering financing of terrorism, according to a statement issued after the conclusion of the two-day conclave.

“Time is ripe for a permanent secretariat to be established. In order to take this thought forward, India offers to establish a permanent secretariat in the country. Shortly, India will circulate a discussion paper to all participants for their valuable comments,” the statement said. The two-day conference here was attended by 450 delegates from over 75 nations and international organisations.

The meet welcomed Germany’s offer to host the NMFT in 2024 or 2025, while the process to finalise the host for the 2023 conference is on, the statement said. Earlier, a government functionary said “India is keen to establish a secretariat to deal with anti-money laundering/ combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) issues. Discussions are going on with international partners in this direction”.

New Delhi is also optimistic to institutionalise the ‘No Money for Terror’ conference by ensuring it as an annual event, the functionary said. The global watchdog on terror financing and money laundering, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which participated in the conference, has also expressed willingness to work closely on AML and CFT issues under India’s G-20 priorities.

The functionary said India is positioning itself as a global player in counter-terrorism initiatives and not just limiting its discourse only on Pakistan-centric issues. While addressing the concluding session of the conference, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in the last few decades, India has successfully tackled many challenges, including terrorism. He said with the country’s policy of zero-tolerance towards terrorism, strong framework of counter-terror laws and empowerment of agencies, India has seen a significant reduction in incidents of terrorism and has succeeded in ensuring strict punishment in cases of terrorism.