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2019 US Country Report on Terrorism: Pakistan Exposed Yet Once Again!

June 29, 2020 | Nilesh Kunwar

The best part of recently released ‘Country Reports on Terrorism’ in respect of Pakistan for 2019 is that those in the US State Department who prepared it and the mandarins of Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) didn’t have to burn the midnight oil. All that the former had to do was to pull out its 2018 report and with just minor cosmetic changes in dates and places, the 2019 was ready. The same seems to be the case with the FO- a ‘search’ of its ‘rebuttal archives’ filed in ‘terrorism accusation’ folder would’ve thrown up scores of well-drafted scripts used by Islamabad in the past to defend the indefensible.

The current report tears apart Islamabad’s much hyped ‘war on terror’ narrative  by noting that “Pakistan continued to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally focused terrorist groups.” The report goes on to state that Pakistan has “allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN (Haqqani network), as well as groups targeting India, including LeT(Lashkar-e-Taiba) and its affiliated front organisations, and JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad), to operate from its territory.”What needs to be noted that Washington’s observation regarding Pakistan using terrorist groups to wage proxy wars in India and Afghanistan is buttressed by New Delhi and Kabul. Infact, its observation that “Thus far, however, Islamabad has yet to take decisive actions against Indian- and Afghanistan-focused militants who would undermine their operational capability” echoes this reality!

While the report acknowledges that “Pakistani authorities indicted LeT co-founder Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his associates on December 11,” it also highlights the fact that “they have made no effort to use domestic authorities to prosecute other terrorist leaders such as JeM founder Masood Azhar and Sajid Mir, the mastermind of LeT’s 2008 Mumbai attacks, both of whom are widely believed to reside in Pakistan under the protection of the state, despite government denials. Readers would recall that after the JeM orchestrated Pulwama attack, while Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had admitted that JeM chief Masood Azhar“is in Pakistan,” army media head Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor contradicted Qureshi by saying that “JeM doesn’t exist in Pakistan.” The US State Department report however makes it abundantly clear that Washington isn’t buying Pakistan army’s story.

The 2019 terrorism report mentions‘grey-listing’of Pakistan by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2018 and also notes that it had “expressed serious concern at its October 2019 plenary about Pakistan’s continued deficiencies.” The report also states that “In 2018, Pakistan was designated as a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. It was re-designated as a CPC in 2019.” But just like 2018 (and all previous years right from the nineties onwards), this time too Islamabad has“rejected” this report and expressed its “disappointment” on the grounds that it is “self-contradictory and selective in its characterisation of Pakistan’s efforts for countering terrorism and terrorist financing.”

Commenting on the report, FO spokesperson Aisha Siddiqui also went on to say that “We reject any insinuation about any safe haven,” adding that “Pakistan will not allow any group or entity to use its territory against any country.” Unfortunately, facts belie her assertions. She also mentioned how Pakistan was being targeted by “externally-based and foreign-sponsored groups” like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K), lamenting that “The report is again either silent or vague on the origins and locations of these terrorist groups.” From this statement it’s clear that Islamabad is actually upset by the fact just that like all other countries, even Washington has outrightly rejected Pakistan’s unsubstantiated claims that these Afghanistan based terrorist groups are being patronised by India!

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2019 US Country Report on Terrorism: Pakistan Exposed Yet Once Again!

June 29, 2020 | Nilesh Kunwar

The best part of recently released ‘Country Reports on Terrorism’ in respect of Pakistan for 2019 is that those in the US State Department who prepared it and the mandarins of Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) didn’t have to burn the midnight oil. All that the former had to do was to pull out its 2018 report and with just minor cosmetic changes in dates and places, the 2019 was ready. The same seems to be the case with the FO- a ‘search’ of its ‘rebuttal archives’ filed in ‘terrorism accusation’ folder would’ve thrown up scores of well-drafted scripts used by Islamabad in the past to defend the indefensible.

The current report tears apart Islamabad’s much hyped ‘war on terror’ narrative  by noting that “Pakistan continued to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally focused terrorist groups.” The report goes on to state that Pakistan has “allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN (Haqqani network), as well as groups targeting India, including LeT(Lashkar-e-Taiba) and its affiliated front organisations, and JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad), to operate from its territory.”What needs to be noted that Washington’s observation regarding Pakistan using terrorist groups to wage proxy wars in India and Afghanistan is buttressed by New Delhi and Kabul. Infact, its observation that “Thus far, however, Islamabad has yet to take decisive actions against Indian- and Afghanistan-focused militants who would undermine their operational capability” echoes this reality!

While the report acknowledges that “Pakistani authorities indicted LeT co-founder Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his associates on December 11,” it also highlights the fact that “they have made no effort to use domestic authorities to prosecute other terrorist leaders such as JeM founder Masood Azhar and Sajid Mir, the mastermind of LeT’s 2008 Mumbai attacks, both of whom are widely believed to reside in Pakistan under the protection of the state, despite government denials. Readers would recall that after the JeM orchestrated Pulwama attack, while Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had admitted that JeM chief Masood Azhar“is in Pakistan,” army media head Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor contradicted Qureshi by saying that “JeM doesn’t exist in Pakistan.” The US State Department report however makes it abundantly clear that Washington isn’t buying Pakistan army’s story.

The 2019 terrorism report mentions‘grey-listing’of Pakistan by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2018 and also notes that it had “expressed serious concern at its October 2019 plenary about Pakistan’s continued deficiencies.” The report also states that “In 2018, Pakistan was designated as a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. It was re-designated as a CPC in 2019.” But just like 2018 (and all previous years right from the nineties onwards), this time too Islamabad has“rejected” this report and expressed its “disappointment” on the grounds that it is “self-contradictory and selective in its characterisation of Pakistan’s efforts for countering terrorism and terrorist financing.”

Commenting on the report, FO spokesperson Aisha Siddiqui also went on to say that “We reject any insinuation about any safe haven,” adding that “Pakistan will not allow any group or entity to use its territory against any country.” Unfortunately, facts belie her assertions. She also mentioned how Pakistan was being targeted by “externally-based and foreign-sponsored groups” like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K), lamenting that “The report is again either silent or vague on the origins and locations of these terrorist groups.” From this statement it’s clear that Islamabad is actually upset by the fact just that like all other countries, even Washington has outrightly rejected Pakistan’s unsubstantiated claims that these Afghanistan based terrorist groups are being patronised by India!


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.