Digital Desk, New Delhi. Front organizations affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and terrorist groups targeting India, including Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), continue to operate from Pakistani territory. This has been revealed by a new report from America. Pakistan has not acted against other known terrorists such as Jaish founder and UN-designated terrorist Masood Azhar and 2008 Mumbai attack project manager Sajid Mir and both are believed to be free in Pakistan.
The report said al-Qaeda has weakened, but its regional affiliates in the Indian subcontinent (AQIS) continue to operate from remote locations, which serve as safe havens. However, regionally, terrorist groups continue to operate from Pakistan. The report added that groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and the allied Haqqani network, also continue to operate. Pakistan has made additional progress towards completing its Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan in 2020, but did not complete all action plan items and remains on the FATF gray list.
The report said that Pakistan took steps in 2020 to combat the financing of terrorism and prevent India-focused terrorist groups from carrying out attacks. Pakistan has indicted Lashkar founder Hafiz Saeed and four other senior leaders on multiple counts of financing terrorism. The Sindh High Court overturned the 2002 conviction of Omar Shaikh and three co-conspirators for the abduction and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl on 2 April 2002 and ordered their release. Sheikh was kept in custody while appeals from provincial and federal authorities continued until the end of the year.
The US continues to build on its strategic partnership with the Indian government, including bilateral engagements such as the 17th Anti-Terrorism Joint Working Group and Third Designation Dialogue in September as well as the third 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in October. Indian counter-terrorist forces actively detect and destroy international and regional terrorist forces at the federal and state levels. The report said the National Investigation Agency in September investigated 34 terrorism-related cases related to the Islamic State terror group and arrested 160 people, including 10 alleged al-Qaeda operatives, from Kerala and West Bengal.
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