You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

US lists Pakistan as safe havens for terror groups, claims India is victim

Pakistan did not take substantial action against Afghan Taliban or Haqqani, says report

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Pakistan. Photo: Reuters
Pakistan. Photo: Reuters

The on Wednesday listed among the nations and regions providing "safe havens" to terrorists, saying terror groups like the and continue to operate, train, organise and fundraise inside the country in 2016.

In its annual 'Country Report on Terrorism', as mandated by the Congress, the State Department said that Pakistani military and security forces undertook operations against groups that conducted attacks within such as Tehrik-e Taliban


"did not take substantial action against the or Haqqani, or substantially limit their ability to threaten interests in Afghanistan, although supported efforts to bring both groups into an Afghan-led peace process," the State Department said.

"did not take sufficient action against other externally focused groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in 2016, which continued to operate, train, organise, and fundraise in Pakistan," the report said.

India, it said continued to experience attacks, "including by Maoist insurgents and Pakistan-based terrorists".

Indian authorities continued to blame for cross-border attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, it said.

"In January, India experienced a terrorist attack against an Indian military facility in Pathankot, Punjab, which was blamed by authorities on Over the course of 2016, the Government of India sought to deepen counterterrorism cooperation and information sharing with the United States," the State Department said.

The Indian government continued to closely monitor the domestic threat from transnational terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), which made threats against India in their terrorist propaganda. A number of individuals were arrested for ISIS-affiliated recruitment and attack plotting within India, the report said.

In a separate chapter, the State Department listed as one of the safe havens of

The State Department said that numerous terrorist groups, including the Network (HQN), the and continued to operate from Pakistani soil in 2016.

"Although is banned in Pakistan, LeT's wings Jamaat- ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FiF) were able to openly engage in fundraising, including in the capital," it said.

"LeT's chief Hafiz Saeed (a UN-designated terrorist) continued to address large rallies, although in February 2017, proscribed him under relevant provisions of Schedule Four of the Anti-Act, thus severely restricting his freedom of movement," it noted.

The 2015 ban on media coverage of Saeed, JuD, and FiF continued and was generally followed by broadcast and print media, it said.

According to the State Department, the Pakistani government did not publicly reverse its December 2015 declaration that neither JuD nor FiF is banned in Pakistan, despite their listing under UN sanctions regimes, although in January 2017, placed both organisations "under observation" pursuant to Schedule Two of the Anti-Act.

While not a ban, keeping the outfits under observation allows the government to closely scrutinise the activities of both organisations.

On November 11, Pakistan's Counterterrorism Authority published its own list of banned organisations that placed JuD in a separate section for groups that are "under observation" but not banned.

continued military operations to eradicate terrorist safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, although their impact on all terrorist groups was uneven, it said.

In its report to the Congress, the State Department said in 2016, India and the United States pledged to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including al-Qaeda, the ISIS, JeM, and D-Company (Dawood Ibrahim's group), including through greater collaboration on designations at the UN.

Indian and leaders directed officials to identify new areas of collaboration through the July US-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group, applauded finalisation of a bilateral arrangement to facilitate the sharing of screening information, and called upon to bring the perpetrators of terrorist attacks against India to justice, the report said.

The United States and India worked together to designate leader Maulana Masood Azhar, although the listing was blocked in the UN 1267 Committee, the State Department said.

Other areas mentioned in the report as safe havens are Afghanistan, Somalia, the Trans-Sahara, Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral, Southern Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Columbia and Venezuela.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 19 2017. 22:07 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU