Pakistan took “modest steps” in 2019 to counter terror financing and restrain India-focused militant teams from conducting large-scale assaults following the Pulwama assault in February, nevertheless it remained a “protected harbor” for regionally targeted terrorist teams, the US stated on Wednesday.
The suspension of US help to Pakistan, which was introduced by President Donald Trump in January 2018, remained in impact all through 2019, the State Division stated.
“Pakistan took modest steps in 2019 to counter terror financing and restrain India-focused militant teams from conducting large-scale assaults following the February assault on a safety convoy within the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir linked to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM),” it stated.
In its Congressional-mandated annual report 2019 Nation Studies on Terrorism, the State Division stated Pakistan took motion in opposition to some externally targeted teams, together with indicting Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and associates in three separate terrorism financing circumstances.
“Nevertheless, Pakistan remained a protected harbor for different regionally targeted terrorist teams,” the State Division stated.
It allowed teams concentrating on Afghanistan, together with the Afghan Taliban and affiliated Haqqani Community (HQN), in addition to teams concentrating on India, together with the LeT and its affiliated entrance organisations, and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), to function from its territory, the report stated.
“It didn’t take motion in opposition to different identified terrorists corresponding to JeM founder and UN-designated terrorist Masood Azhar and 2008 Mumbai assault ”undertaking supervisor” Sajid Mir, each of whom are believed to stay free in Pakistan,” alleged the State Division.
Pakistan, nevertheless, did make some constructive contributions to the Afghanistan peace course of, corresponding to encouraging Taliban reductions in violence. Pakistan made some progress towards assembly the Motion Plan necessities for the FATF, permitting it to keep away from being blacklisted, however didn’t full all Motion Plan objects in 2019, it stated.
Though al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been critically degraded, key figures among the many outfit’s international management, in addition to its regional affiliate al-Qaeda within the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), continued to function from distant places within the area that traditionally served as protected havens, it stated.
Pakistan is among the international locations that figures within the terrorist protected havens record. Though Pakistan”s Nationwide Motion Plan calls to “make sure that no armed militias are allowed to perform within the nation,” a number of terrorist teams that concentrate on assaults outdoors the nation continued to function from Pakistani soil in 2019, together with the Haqqani Community, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammed, it stated.
“The federal government and navy acted inconsistently with respect to terrorist protected havens all through the nation. Authorities didn’t take enough motion to cease sure terrorist teams and people from brazenly working within the nation,” stated the State Division.
In line with the report, in January 2018, the US authorities suspended most of its safety help to Pakistan over the federal government’s failure to adequately tackle the menace posed by militant and terrorist teams working on Pakistani soil.
“That suspension remained in impact all through 2019,” the report stated.
“Nevertheless, a recalibration of our civilian help portfolio was carried out in 2019 to focus on a narrower set of precedence areas: people-to-people exchanges, legislation enforcement and counterterrorism cooperation, stabilisation for the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, fostering commerce and financial progress, supporting civil society, and serving to deal with polio and different infectious illnesses,” it stated.
The report notes that in June 2018, the FATF positioned Pakistan on its “grey record” and issued an Motion Plan directing Pakistan to take particular steps by September 2019 to deal with strategic deficiencies in its combating the financing of terrorism efforts.
“The FATF expressed severe concern at its October 2019 plenary about Pakistan”s continued deficiencies however famous it had made some progress and prolonged the deadline for full Motion Plan implementation to February 2020,” it stated.
In 2018, Pakistan was designated as a “Nation of Explicit Concern” (CPC) underneath the Worldwide Spiritual Freedom Act of 1998. It was re-designated as a CPC in 2019, it stated.
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