PESHAWAR: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has arrested a senior official of an international non-governmental organisation (INGO) on charges of terror financing.

An anti-terrorism court has handed the accused to the CTD on three-day physical remand. According to details, on the intelligence provided by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the CTD arrested Regional Director of Human Concern International (HCI) Ali Nawaz from Khyber Road, Peshawar.

After arresting the accused, the CTD presented him in the ATC which gave three-day physical remand for further investigations.

According to the first information report (FIR), reports have been received that Ali Nawaz along with Muhammad Farooq Awan, Shah Room and Muhammad Naeem were involved in providing financing to terrorists. The FIR says the CTD got information from the FIA that the huge amount received in the name of charity by the NGO was to be transferred to al-Qaeda.

The FIA says huge amount was shifted by the accused for terror financing through 11 bank accounts. It says the accused Ali Nawaz could not give satisfactory reply to investigators about the transfer of the amount. After initial probe, a case has been filed against the accused under Section 11-N of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

No representative from any international NGO has made comment over the development.

In February, the Pakistan government rejected registration applications of 42 NGOs due to objections raised by the intelligence agencies on their financing patterns. The NGOs had filed applications for signing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the Economic Affairs Division (EAD). The signing of MoUs entitles NGOs to obtain foreign funding and open bank accounts, but proper use of those funds always remains a concern.

Pakistan has recently tightened control over inflow of foreign funding after being placed on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) grey list. It has taken various steps to meet international commitments, including the ones with the FATF. The measures have been taken to avoid black-listing by the FATF which would bring severe consequences for Pakistan.

Pakistan has also taken action against some organisations within the country and banned their activities in a bid to come out of the grey list of FATF.