Pakistan continues to serve as safe haven for terrorist groups: US

The US Department of State in its recent report has said that Pakistan continues to serve as a “safe haven” for certain “regionally-focused terrorist groups” and that the country’s efforts towards counter-terrorism “remains unfulfilled”.

“Pakistan continued to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally-focused terrorist groups. It allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN, as well as groups targeting India, including LeT and its affiliated front organizations, and JeM, to operate from its territory,” the report stated.

“Pakistan’s progress on the most difficult aspects of its 2015 National Action Plan to counter terrorism remains unfulfilled – specifically its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organizations without delay and discrimination.”

“While Pakistani authorities indicted LeT co-founder Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his associates on December 11, they have made no effort to use domestic authorities to prosecute other terrorist leaders such as JeM founder Masood Azhar and Sajid Mir, the mastermind of LeT’s 2008 Mumbai attacks, both of whom are widely believed to reside in Pakistan under the protection of the state, despite government denials,” the report added.

Meanwhile, the global terror financing watchdog, FATF, on Wednesday decided to keep Pakistan in the “Grey List” as it has failed to check flow of money to terror groups like the LeT and the JeM, officials said. The decision was taken at the Financial Action Task Force’s third and final plenary held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic under the Chinese Presidency of Xiangmin Liu.

“The FATF plenary decided continuation of Pakistan in ”Grey List” till its next meeting to be held in October,” an official privy to the development added.