When will Pakistan get the cue?


In it's annual report mandated by the Congress ' Country Reports on Terrorism for 2016 the US State Department has listed Pakistan among nations that provide "safe haven" to terrorist groups.

The report said that India is among the countries most affected by terrorism and has continued to experience attacks, "including by Maoist insurgents and Pakistan-based terrorists", in 2016. It also acknowledged that India blamed Pakistan for terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. (scroll.in)

"In January, India experienced a terrorist attack against its military facility in Pathankot, Punjab, which was blamed by authorities on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). 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. (news18.com)

A senior US counter-terrorism official said that 55% of the terrorist attacks in the world in 2016 took place in five countries, including India and Pakistan. (scroll.in)

It claimed that groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to hold rallies, raise money, recruit and train people in Pakistan. (scroll.in)

The report also mentioned that 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. (news18.com)

The State Department also accused Pakistan of not taking considerable actions against the Afghan Taliban or Haqqani, or to substantially limit their ability to threaten US interests in Afghanistan. (news18.com)

In its report to the Congress, the State Department has said that in 2016, India and the United States pledged to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including al-Qaeda, the ISIS, JeM, LeT and D-Company (Dawood Ibrahim's group), including through greater collaboration on designations at the UN. Indian and US 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 terrorism screening information, and called upon Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of terrorist attacks against India to justice. (news18.com)

The Islamic State remains "the most potent terrorist threat to global security", the report said, "with eight recognised branches and numerous undeclared networks operating beyond the group's core concentration in Iraq and Syria". (newkerala.com)

Laws that don't help

Pakistan has taken steps to counter terrorism , but the laws have neither been followed nor implemented. LeT's wings Jamaat- ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FiF) openly engage in fundraising despite the fact that Let is banned in Pakistan.

Pakistan proscribed LeT's chief Hafiz Saeed (a UN-designated terrorist) under relevant provisions of Schedule Four of the Anti-Terrorism Act in February 2017 , thus severely restricting his freedom of movement yet he continues to address large rallies throughout the country.

Last year in november Pakistan's National Counterterrorism Authority published its own list of banned organisations that placed LeT's wings Jamaat- ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FiF) , in a separate section for groups that are "under observation" but not banned. Pakistan continued military operations to eradicate terrorist safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, although their impact on all terrorist groups was uneven. (news18.com)

Also ,the 2015 ban on media coverage of Saeed, JuD, and FiF continued and was generally followed by broadcast and print media, it said. (news18.com)

The Haqqani network which is known to have carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan and is also blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people continues to operate from Pakistani soil Rumours also suggest that a few terrorist groups receive support from the Pakistani army itself.(thestatesman.com)

The US report has also pulled Pakistan on sheltering terrorists Sayyed salahuddin.

Salahuddin, known to have vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers, and vowed to turn the Kashmir valley "into a graveyard for Indian forces." He is also listed on the NIA Most Wanted list. He was recently named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US Department of State.

Pakistan is a member of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Pakistan criminalises terrorist financing through the ATA. However according to the report there has not been a significant number of prosecutions or convictions of terrorist financing cases reported by Pakistan in recent years due to a lack of resources and capacity within investigative and judicial bodies.(thestatesman.com)

Other declarations made in the report

According to the report Iran yet again acquired the position of the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world and that Iran is the planet's "foremost" state sponsor of terrorism in 2016. It said Iran was firm in its backing of anti-Israel groups as well as proxies that have destabilized already devastating conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. (newkerala.com)

Iran's continuous recruitment of members in Afghanistan and Pakistan for Shiite militia members to fight in Syria and Iraq and the country's unchanged support for Lebanon's Hezbollah movement has also been mentioned in the report.

In terms of the number of terrorist attacks, an appendix prepared for the state department by an outside body found a dip. "The total number of terrorist attacks in 2016 decreased by 9% and total deaths due to terrorist attacks decreased by 13%, compared to 2015. This was largely due to fewer attacks and deaths in Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Yemen." And 26% percent of all deaths in 2016 were perpetrator deaths up from 24% in 2015. (hindustantimes.com)

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

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