JeM, LeT outfits pose threat in subcontinent: US

BK Online Srinagar
September 20, 2018 BREAKING NEWS 169 Views
JeM, LeT outfits pose threat in subcontinent: US

Pakistan continues not to act against externally focused groups operating from its soil, such as the Haqqani Network, Afghan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, according to the US state department’s country report on terrorism released on Wednesday.

The Trump administration’s second terror update focuses on Pakistan’s failure to check financing and access to financial services for LeT and its affiliates, which landed Pakistan on the Financial Action Task Force’s “grey list” of nations that have not complied with UN-mandated measures to check terror financing.

The report reflected America’s continued annoyance at the release from custody of LeT founder and alleged 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, saying he was freed because the “government had not provided sufficient evidence against him (or) charged Saeed with a crime”.

Overall, incidents of terrorism worldwide decreased 23% in 2017, and total deaths in terror attacks went down by 27%, according to the report. Fifty-nine percent of all attacks took place in five countries — Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines — and 70% of all deaths in terror attacks were reported in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and Syria.

The number of terror attacks in India went down by 8%, the report said.

Continued American frustration with Pakistan dominated the report’s narrative for South and Central Asia. Though Islamabad acted against terror groups that carried out attacks within Pakistan, such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, it “did not restrict the Afghan Taliban and (Haqqani Network) from operating in Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan”, the report said.

It added, “Pakistan did not take sufficient action against other externally focused groups such as Lashkar e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2017, which continued to operate, train, organise, and fundraise” in the country.

The report retained Pakistan on the list of terrorist safe havens and said groups such as LeT, JeM and Haqqani Network continued to “operate from Pakistani soil” in 2017.

In the section on terror financing, the US reiterated concerns over Pakistan’s failure to block funding and financing for LeT. Though the country’s laws are in compliance with UN-mandated measures, authorities failed to implement them in regard to “designated entities and individuals such as LeT and its affiliates, which continued to make use of economic resources and raise funds”.

The report also noted the Lahore High Court had refused to extend Saeed’s detention as the government had not provided sufficient evidence against him or charged him with a crime. At the time of Saeed’s release, the US had warned Pakistan of “repercussions” if he was not immediately re-arrested and investigated. Islamabad ignored the threat, pointing to its judiciary’s independence.

The Trump administration suspended nearly $2 billion in security aid a few months later over failed promises and “lies and deceit”, and pushed the FATF to put the country back on its “grey list”.(HT)

 

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