Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism with a long list of outlawed terror organisations, including the latest to be banned Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa or JuD, and the country abets and aids almost half of the proscribed groups in India, according to official documents.
Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority or NCTA has so far declared 69 terrorist organisations as ‘banned’. However, it has turned a blind eye to many other major terror groups such as the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and the Al Badr operating in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), the documents state.
On Thursday, Pakistan banned the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its front Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), amid intense global pressure to rein in the terror groups following the Pulwama terror attack that killed over 40 paramilitary soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the NCTA, a sizeable number of the organisations, declared as outlawed terror outfits by Pakistan, are based in Balochistan, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s Gilgit-Baltistan region and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas or FATA.
Documents at India’s Home Ministry state that almost half of India’s total 41 banned terrorist groups are either based in Pakistan, areas under its illegal occupation or sponsored by it.
Such groups include the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Al Badr, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Babbar Khalsa International, Khalistan Commando Force and International Sikh Youth Federation.
The NCTA started declaring organisations as proscribed in 2001, by banning Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). The LeJ is based in Pakistan with limited operations in Afghanistan.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Afghanistan), Balochistan Republican Army, Balochistan Liberation Front, Lashkar-e-Balochistan, Balochistan Liberation United Front, Tanzeem Naujawana-e-Ahle Sunnat, Gilgit, Anjuman-e-Imamia Gilgit Baltistan and Muslim Students Organization (MSO) Gilgit are among the banned organisations, as per NCTA documents.
The few others are the Abdullah Azam Brigade (Lebanon, Syria and Arabian Peninsula), East Turkemenistan Islamic Movement (Turkey, Afghanistan), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan) and Islamic Jihad Union (Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Germany).
Two groups – the Ghulaman-e-Sahaba and the Maymar Trust – have been under the scanner of the Pakistan government while another, Al-Akhtar Trust, has been declared a proscribed organisation under a UN Security Council resolution.
The Hafiz Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which also is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.
It was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
Even through JeM, responsible for the Pulwama terror attack, and LeT, responsible for the 26/11 attack, were banned by Pakistan, heads of both the terrorist groups — Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed respectively — roam freely in Pakistan.
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