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Pakistan among nations providing ‘safe havens’ to terrorists: US

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The United States has listed Pakistan among nations that provide “safe havens” to terrorists to operate and work on Wednesday. It also said that India continued to be a victim of attacks ‘including by Maoist insurgents and Pakistan-based terrorists”.

The State Department in its ‘Country Report on Terrorism’, said that terror outfits such as Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad continued to operate, train, organise and fundraise in Pakistan in 2016.

“Although LeT is banned in Pakistan, LeT’s wings Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FiF) were able to openly engage in fundraising, including in the capital,” it said.

“LeT’s chief Hafiz Saeed (a UN-designated terrorist) continued to address large rallies, although, in February 2017, Pakistan proscribed him under relevant provisions of Schedule Four of the Anti-Terrorism Act, thus severely restricting his freedom of movement,” it added.

The State Department said that Pakistani government did not reverse its Dec 2015 declaration that neither JuD nor FiF is banned in Pakistan, despite their listing under UN sanctions regimes. However, in January 2017, Pakistan placed both organisations “under observation” pursuant to Schedule Two of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

“Pakistan did not take substantial action against the Afghan Taliban or Haqqani, or substantially limit their ability to threaten US interests in Afghanistan, although Pakistan supported efforts to bring both groups into an Afghan-led peace process,” it said.

As per the State Department, India and US continued to seek and reinforce cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including al-Qaeda, the ISIS, JeM, LeT and D-Company (Dawood Ibrahim’s group), including through superior alliance on designations at the UN.

The Indian government continued to closely monitor the domestic threat from transnational terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

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