Pakistan continues not to act against externally focused terror groups operating from its soil, such as the Haqqani Network, Afghan Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, according to the US state department’s country report on terrorism released on Wednesday.
The Trump administration’s second terror update focuses on Pakistan’s failure to check financing and access to financial services for LeT and its affiliates, which landed Pakistan on the Financial Action Task Force’s “grey list” of nations that have not complied with UN-mandated measures to check terror financing.
The report reflected America’s continued annoyance at the release from custody of LeT founder and alleged 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, saying he was freed because the “government had not provided sufficient evidence against him (or) charged Saeed with a crime”.
Overall, incidents of terrorism worldwide decreased 23% in 2017, and total deaths in terror attacks went down by 27%, according to the report. Fifty-nine percent of all attacks took place in five countries — Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan and the Philippines — and 70% of all deaths in terror attacks were reported in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and Syria.
The number of terror attacks in India went down by 8%, the report said.
Continued American frustration with Pakistan dominated the report’s narrative for South and Central Asia. Though Islamabad acted against terror groups that carried out attacks within Pakistan, such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, it “did not restrict the Afghan Taliban and (Haqqani Network) from operating in Pakistan-based safe havens and threatening US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan”, the report said.
It added, “Pakistan did not take sufficient action against other externally focused groups such as Lashkar e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2017, which continued to operate, train, organise, and fundraise” in the country.>