WASHINGTON D.C. (United States): A United States State Department report has slammed Pakistan for failing to curb terror funding and training terrorists on its soil. According to the ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2018’, Pakistan failed to uniformly implement US sanctions on terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
US Country Reports on Terrorism 2018, released on Nov 1, indicts Pakistan for not restricting terror outfits such as Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network, LeT and JeM. They are freely operating from Pak-based safe havens, the US Department of State report said. pic.twitter.com/DmijeWrNPq
— Prasar Bharati News Services (@PBNS_India) November 2, 2019
According to the ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2018‘, “Pakistan has failed to restrict the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network from operating in safe havens on its soil“, despite Islamabad’s open support for a political reconciliation between the Afghan Taliban and Afghan government.
While the report noted Pakistan’s efforts in connection to the implementation of conditions laid down by Financial Action Task Force or FATF, it slammed the country for failing to uniformly implement UN sanctions against terror groups like LeT and its affiliates.
“Although the Pakistani government voiced support for political reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban, it did not restrict the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network (HQN) from operating in Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening the US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan,” it said.
Briefing media in Washington at the launch of the report, US State Department’s Counter-terrorism Coordinator and Ambassador Nathan Sales said, terrorist groups existing in Pakistan focused on targets outside the country.
The report has also slammed Pakistan for allowing candidates overtly affiliated with terror front organizations to contest 2018 General Elections.
Terror groups conducted attacks against governmental, non-governmental, and diplomatic targets in Balochistan and Sindh provinces, it continued.
“Groups located in Pakistan, but focused on conducting attacks outside the country, included the Afghan Taliban, HQN, LeT and its affiliated front organisations, and JeM. Terrorists used a range of tactics to attack individuals, schools, markets, government institutions, and places of worship, including IEDs, VBIEDs, suicide bombings, targeted assassinations, and rocket-propelled grenades,” the report underlined.
The terror outfits targetted civilians, journalists, community leaders, security forces, law enforcement agents, and schools killing and injuring hundreds in 2018, the report noted adding, that religious minorities faced significant threats from the terror groups.
The report said that Pakistan, being a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), an FATF-style regional body, agreed to implement international standards to combat money laundering, terrorism finance, and proliferation finance. While the country “criminalises terrorist financing through the Anti-terrorism Act, the implementation remains uneven”.
“In June 2018, the FATF placed Pakistan on its ‘grey list’ for deficiencies across its AML/CFT regimes, specifically citing concerns over Pakistan”s failure to fully implement the UN Security Council ISIL (Daesh) and al-Qaeda sanctions regime. FATF noted that UN-listed entities, including LeT and its affiliates, were not effectively prohibited from raising funds in Pakistan, or being denied financial services,” it said.
“Although Pakistan’s laws technically comply with international AML/CFT 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 noted.
Recently, a senior State Department official had said, Islamabad needs to take constructive, sustained and irreversible steps against terrorist groups as such activities have hijacked a normal dialogue between India and Pakistan.
Earlier, US Diplomat Alice G Wells also said that though the US supports New Delhi-Islamabad direct dialogue, however, Pakistan’s continued support to terror groups and extremists who indulge in cross-border terrorism is the chief obstacle.