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US designates Pakistan as a terrorist 'safe haven'

20 Jul 2017 | By Anupama Vijayakumar

Possibly a sign of Trump administration's toughening stance against terrorism, the US listed Pakistan as one of the countries providing safe havens to terrorists in its "Country Report on Terrorism" published annually.

It said that terrorist groups including Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, continued to raise funds, train and operate from Pakistan in 2016 and further discussed India's strong domestic crackdown on terror.

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In context: Pakistan: A patron of terror

BackgroundPakistan: A state-sponsor of terrorism

Countries including India and the US have constantly accused Pakistan of using terror to achieve political objectives.

Along with independent organizations, quarters within the Trump administration have been calling out Pakistan for supporting home-grown terror.

Pakistan's ISI is said to have connections with groups including the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba and played a role in the 2001 Parliament attacks and the 26/11 attacks.

20 Jul 2017US designates Pakistan as a terrorist 'safe haven'

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Pakistan not an ally, but a threat: US think-tank report

DetailsPakistan not an ally, but a threat: US think-tank report

Earlier, a report published by the US-based think-tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorist groups including Haqqani network and Taliban. It termed Pakistan more of a threat than an ally.

"The US should make it clear to Pakistan that it faces an end to aid, and the imposition of sanctions, if it continues to support these organizations", it added.

AboutInstances of Pakistan's inaction against home-grown terror

As a proof of Pakistan's inaction, the report said that although LeT has banned its wings, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation were engaged in fund-raising activities. Moreover, their activities received broad coverage in media.

Stating that LeT chief Hafiz Sayeed continues to address large gatherings despite the ban, it further called out Pakistan for placing JuD and FiF 'under observation' and not banning them.

Pakistan's inaction: A threat to US interests in Afghanistan

The State Department notes, "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."

DetailsOn India

The Report notes that India has "continued to experience attacks from Maoists and Pakistan-based terrorists" and cites the Pathankot attack (2016), which the Indian authorities attributed to JeM.

It further notes that India-US counter-terrorism co-operation has grown stronger since 2016.

India has also prevented transnational terrorist groups including ISIS from taking root in India and arrested many individuals for their ISIS affiliations, it adds.

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Other terrorist safe havens identified

In addition to Pakistan, the Country Report also identified countries including Afghanistan, Somalia, Egypt, Lebanon, Columbia, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya, Philippines and the trans-Sahara as terrorist safe havens.