Washington, July 20: Pakistan, a nation with dual face and ‘backstabber’ is finally exposed in front of the whole world after the United States listed Islamabad among the nations providing "safe havens" to terrorists.
Notably, in its annual 'Country Report on Terrorism' the United States listed Pakistan among the nations providing "safe havens" to terrorists saying terror groups like the LeT and JEM continued to operate, train, organize and fundraise inside the country. "Pakistan did not take sufficient action against other externally focused groups, such as LeT and JeM in 2016, which continued to operate, train, organize, and fundraise in Pakistan," the report said.
The US report also listed Pakistan as one of the safe havens of terrorism and said that numerous terrorist groups, including the Haqqani Network (HQN), the LeT and JeM continued to operate from Pakistani soil in 2016. The report further said Pakistan also did not take substantial action against the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network to limit their ability to threaten US interests in Afghanistan. These groups are located in Pakistan but focused on conducting terror attacks outside that country.
Meanwhile, the State Department of United States also said the Mumbai attack mastermind and UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed continued to address large rallies, although in February 2017 Pakistan prescribed him under relevant provisions of Anti-Terrorism Act.
"LeT's chief Saeed continued to address large rallies, although, in February 2017, Pakistan prescribed him under relevant provisions of Schedule Four of the Anti-Terrorism Act, thus severely restricting his freedom of movement," the State Department said. The 2015 ban on media coverage of Saeed, JuD, and FiF continued and was generally followed by broadcast and print media, it added.
Notably, the Haqqani network has carried out a number of kidnappings and attacks against US interests in Afghanistan. The group 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.
The State Department also stated that India continued to experience attacks, "including by Maoist insurgents and Pakistan-based terrorists". Indian authorities continued to blame Pakistan 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 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 added.
The State Department said India and the US pledged to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including al-Qaeda, the ISIS, JeM, LeT and Dawood Ibrahim's group, including through greater collaboration on designations at the UN. The United States and India worked together to designate JeM leader Maulana Masood Azhar, although the listing was blocked in the UN 1267 Committee, the State Department said.
However, other areas mentioned in the report of US as safe havens are Afghanistan, Somalia, the Trans-Sahara, Sulu/Sulawesi Seas Littoral, Southern Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Columbia and Venezuela.
Meanwhile, India has welcomed US action listing Pakistan among the nations and regions providing “safe havens” to terrorists, saying US State Department’s Country Report on Terrorism vindicated India’s long-held view that Pakistan was providing safe havens for terrorists on its soil.