Pakistan failed to limit terror groups like LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2018, says US State Department

The US State Department said on Friday in its Country Reports on Terrorism for 2018 that Pakistan had failed to “significantly limit” terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad from raising money, recruiting and training inside its territory. The United States also said that Pakistan allowed candidates overtly affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba front organisations to contest the general elections in July.

“Although Pakistan’s National Action Plan calls to ensure that no armed militias are allowed to function in the country, several terrorist groups that focus on attacks outside the country continued to operate from Pakistani soil in 2018, including the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammad,” the report said.

The report said the government and military acted inconsistently to eliminate safe havens for terrorists in the country. “Authorities did not take sufficient action to stop certain terrorist groups and individuals from openly operating in the country,” it said.

The report said that Pakistan pledged support for political reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban, but did not stop the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network from operating in its country, thus threatening US and Afghan forces across the border.

The US State Department said that India continued to experience terrorist attacks from Pakistan-based organisations, and New Delhi blamed Islamabad for such attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. It added that Pakistan-based organisations like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad retain their capabilities to attack targets in India and Afghanistan.

“Pakistan criminalises terrorist financing through the Anti-terrorism Act, but implementation remains uneven,” the State Department said.

In July 2018, the Financial Action Task Force, the global terror financingdog, put Pakistan in its grey list, fact that found mention in the US State Department’s report. Last month, the task force said Pakistan had failed to deliver on 22 out of 27 targets it had set for the country, related to terror financing. The task force asked Pakistan to fulfill its commitments within four months, failing which the country could be blacklisted.

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