Terrorist groups that have targeted India for two decades continue to operate from Pakistan without Islamabad acting against the threat emanating from its region, according to a report released by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday.
The Country Reports on Terrorism 2020 assessed the successes and the challenges faced by the nations around the world last year.
“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 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) – continued to operate from Pakistani territory,” the report stated.
It also noted that Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar and 2008 Mumbai attacks “project manager” Sajid Mir were free in Pakistan till date.
On November 26, 2008, ten terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Taiba took the sea route from Pakistan to Mumbai and carried out a dozen coordinated shooting and bombing attacks at various major landmarks across the city. Over 160 people were killed and more than 300 injured in the attacks that lasted four days.
The US report found that the terror organisations that have attacked several places in India over the last two decades have been raising money in Pakistan and other countries.
For instance, Jaish-e-Mohammed had withdrawn funds from bank accounts and invested in legal businesses in Pakistan to avoid seizure of assets by the government, the report stated. The terror outfit has also collected funds through donations, sometimes using charitable causes.
According to the report, operatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba have been collecting donations in Pakistan, Arab countries and even the United Kingdom, where it is designated as a terrorist organisation. “In 2019, LeT and its front organisations continued to operate and fundraise in Pakistan,” the report stated.
Hizbul Mujahideen, which has been designated as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in 2017, is suspected to have received funding from Pakistan as well Kashmir.
The report by the secretary of the state also mentioned that India’s National Investigation Agency had examined 34 terrorism-related cases related to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria last year and arrested 160 persons, including 10 alleged Al Qaeda operatives from Kerala and West Bengal.