The United States State Department on Wednesday said terrorist outfits such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Haqqani Network continue to pose a threat in the Indian subcontinent. In its annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2017, the department said Pakistan has not taken adequate steps to curb terrorist groups’ access to finance.
The report said although Pakistan’s National Action Plan calls to “ensure that no armed militias are allowed to function in the country,” several groups carried out attacks outside the country and continued to operate from Pakistani soil in 2017.
The state department said Pakistan carried out military operations only against groups such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban that conducted attacks within the country. “Pakistan did not take sufficient action against other externally focused groups such as Lashkar e-Tayyiba [LeT] and Jaish-e-Mohammad [JeM] in 2017, which continued to operate, train, organise, and fundraise in Pakistan,” it added.
“Although Pakistan’s laws technically comply with international anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism standards, authorities failed to uniformly implement UN sanctions related to designated entities and individuals such as LeT and its affiliates, which continued to make use of economic resources and raise funds,” the report said.
The State Department pointed out that Pakistan detained Lashkar-e-Taiba leader and 2008 Mumbai attacks’ mastermind Hafiz Saeed in January 2017 but a court ordered his release from house arrest in November. The department pointed out that Saeed was released because the “government had not provided sufficient evidence against him [or] charged Saeed with a crime”.
In February, the Financial Action Task Force put Pakistan on a “grey list” for not taking adequate action against terrorist groups and individuals. Pakistan had been on the organisation’s watchlist from 2012 to 2015 because of money-laundering cases.
Globally, incidents of terrorism decreased 23% in 2017, and the total deaths in such attacks went down by 27%. The number of terror attacks in India went down by 8%, the report said.
The attacks were also geographically restricted. Of all the attacks, 59% took place in Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines while 70% of all deaths were reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and Syria.