Trump effect ? Pakistan bans Hafiz Saeed-backed Terror outfit

Highlights
  • Pakistan banning JuD’s proxy outfit could well be seen as a response to the Donald Trump administration hinting a harder line against Islamabad
  • It also comes ahead of an intergovernmental body updating its assessment of ‘high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions’ involved in terror financing

Pakistan has banned terrorist Hafiz Saeed-backed outfit Tehreek-eAzadi-Jammu & Kashmir, a group that is essentially a rebranded Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which in turn was the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan has now put this JuD proxy on the list of proscribed organisations, as of June 8, according to the web site of Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority. JuD, though, still remains only ‘under watch’.

In late January, Pakistan put Saeed under ‘house arrest’+ and the JuD on the ‘under watch’ list. In fact, TOI reported that Saeed – likely having gotten wind of action against him – began moving some of JuD’s India-targeted operations to the Tehreek-e-Azaad-e-Kashmir as early as January 14.

Pakistan banning JuD’s proxy outfit could well be seen as a response to the Donald Trump administration hinting a harder line against Islamabad.

Reuters reported 10 days ago that Trump’s administration is contemplating amplified drone strikes+ on terror camps in Pakistan. This was even before the stern talking-to Trump and India jointly gave Islamabad this week via the Indo-US joint statement.

The banning also comes ahead of the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) scheduled to update its assessment of “high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions” next month, which the Associated Press (AP) reported about earlier this June. FATF was set up to implement legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats.

Earlier this month, AP reported that Pakistan recently froze the accounts of as many as 5,000 suspected militants, ahead of the FATF updating its list. And TOI reported+ in February that it was the threat of international sanctions by the US, under FATF, that prompted action by Pakistan against Saeed. A senior US government official reportedly conveyed to Pakistan it would be put on the FATF’s blacklist if Islamabad did not take action against JuD and other similar outfits and their funding mechanisms.

India, Afghanistan and even many US lawmakers have said many times that Pakistan fosters terror safe havens. The very fact that it allows outfits like the JuD to operate with impunity is a clear sign Pakistan is culpable in stoking terror, say analysts.

Consider that the JuD itself arose from terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, (LeT) which Pakistan was forced to ban in 2002 after the US declared it a terrorist organization in 2001. Saeed is the man who founded LeT as well, to focus on attacks on India.

The LeT morphed into the JuD, and with the JuD put on an ‘under watch’ list, arose Tehreek-e-Azadi-Jammu & Kashmir.

By: TNN

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