U.S. says terrorists have free run in Pakistan

| Updated: Jul 20, 2017 04:56 IST

New York [U.S.A.], July 19 (ANI): The United States (U.S.) on Wednesday said that terrorists have a free run in Pakistan. In its annual 'Country Reports on Terrorism, the Donald Trump administration has accused Pakistan of not prosecuting or convicting any terrorists or prohibiting terror outfits from raising funds for unleashing terror. In the report, the State Department said Pakistan is a member of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. Pakistan criminalizes terrorist financing. However, there has not been a significant number of prosecutions or convictions of terrorist financing cases reported by Pakistan in recent years due to a lack of resources and capacity within investigative and judicial bodies. In 2015, the report says, FATF removed Pakistan from its review process due to progress on countering the financing of terrorism (CFT). In October 2016, FATF noted with concern that Pakistan's outstanding gaps in the implementation of the UN Security Council's sanctions on ISIL (Da'esh) and al-Qa'ida had not been resolved, and that UN-listed entities - including Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT) and its branches - were not being effectively prohibited from raising funds in Pakistan. Despite Pakistan's CFT laws, its freezing of several relevant bank accounts from March 2015 to March 2016, and other limited efforts to stem fundraising by the LeT, the group and its wings continued to make use of economic resources and raise funds in the country in 2016. It is notable that 'Country Reports on Terrorism in 2015' as well listed Pakistan as a safe haven for terrorist groups that includes Haqqani Network, which hides in or operate from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, a mountainous region along Pakistan's northwest border with Afghanistan. Some UN-designated terrorist groups, such as LeT affiliates Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, were able to fundraise and hold rallies in Pakistan. LeT/JuD leader, Hafiz Saeed, who is also a UN-designated terrorist, was able to make frequent public appearances in support of the organisation's objectives, which were covered by the Pakistani media, for much of the year, the report had said. The Islamic State remained "the most potent terrorist threat to global security", the report said, "with eight recognised branches and numerous undeclared networks operating beyond the group's core concentration in Iraq and Syria". Iran continues to be the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, the Trump administration said in a new report that also noted a decline in the number of terrorist attacks globally between 2015 and 2016. In its annual "Country Reports on Terrorism" released Wednesday, the State Department said Iran was the planet's "foremost" state sponsor of terrorism in 2016, a dubious distinction the country has held for many years. It said Iran was firm in its backing of anti-Israel groups as well as proxies that have destabilized already devastating conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. It also said Iran continued to recruit in Afghanistan and Pakistan for Shiite militia members to fight in Syria and Iraq. And, it said Iranian support for Lebanon's Hezbollah movement was unchanged. (ANI)