Pakistan home to 12 foreign terrorist organizations: CRS report
(Sourced from PTI)
Pakistan is home to at least 12 groups designated as foreign terrorist organizations (FTO), including five of them being India-centric like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) and Jaish-e-Mohammed, according to a Congressional report on terrorism. US officials identified Pakistan as the base of operations or target for armed and non-state militant groups, some of which have existed since the 1980s, the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) said.
The report released by the bipartisan research wing of US Congress on the eve of the Quad summit in Washington last week said that these groups operating in Pakistan can be broadly categorized into five types - globally-oriented, Afghanistan oriented, India, Kashmir-oriented, domestically oriented, and Sectarian (anti-Shia). Lashkar-e-Taiba was formed in the late 1980s in Pakistan and was designated as an FTO in 2001.
LET was responsible for major 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, as well as numerous other high-profile attacks, the CRS said. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) was founded in 2000 by Kashmiri militant leader Masood Azhar and was designated as an FTO in 2001. Along with LET, it was responsible for the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, among other attacks, it said.
Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI) was formed in 1980 in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet army and was designated as an FTO in 2010. After 1989, it redirected its efforts toward India, although it did supply fighters to the Afghan Taliban.
With an unknown strength, HUJI today operates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India, and seeks annexation of Kashmir into Pakistan, the report said. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) was designated as an FTO in 1997 and operates mainly from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and from some Pakistani cities. Finally, Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HM) was formed in 1989 and designated as an FTO in 2017.
Hizb-ul Mujahideen is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in J-K. Among other terrorist groups operating from Pakistan is Al Qaeda, CRS said. It has since 2011 been led by Ayman al-Zawahiri and reportedly maintains supportive ties with groups inside the country.
CRS said according to the US State Department's Country Reports on Terrorism 2019, Pakistan has continued to serve as a safe haven for certain regionally-focused terrorist groups and has allowed groups targeting Afghanistan and groups targeting India to operate from its territory. The Department concluded that authorities did not take sufficient action to stop certain terrorist groups and individuals from openly operating in Pakistan.