Islamabad: The United Nations has acknowledged Pakistan’s ongoing efforts against terrorism and observed that the reunification of terrorist groups under the shelter of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was still a threat for the region.
The UN’s report emerged on Sunday noted that the threat from TTP had resulted in over 100 cross-border attacks within three months of the last year.
Last year, Pakistan had submitted an irrefutable dossier wherein it exposed India’s efforts and sponsorship to reunite banned outfits and create consortium under the banner of TTP.
The UN monitoring team, responsible for tracking terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, submitted its 27th report to the UN Security Council wherein it acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in arresting those individuals involved in terrorism financing. The report also acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in seizing such individuals’ assets and entities.
It further expressed concerns on the reunification of five splinter groups and making an alliance with TTP in Afghanistan. These five groups that pledged alliance in last year’s July and August are identified as Jamaatul Ahrar (JuA), Shehryar Mehsud group, Hizbul Ahrar, the Amjad Farooqi group and the Usman Saifullah group. Amjad Farooqi group and the Usman Saifullah group were formerly known as Lashkar-e- Jhangvi.
The UN monitoring team’s report also cautioned that the reunification had increased the strength of the TTP which bolstered a sharp increase in attacks, adding that the reunification was not the only threat to Pakistan but the entire region.
It further added that the TTP was responsible for more than 100 cross-border attacks between July and October 2020. It also estimated that the TTP’s fighting strength ranged from 2,500 and 6,000 fighters.
In January this year, Lahore’s Counter-Terrorism Department conducted an intelligence-based operation and apprehended leader of banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
A spokesperson for the CTD in a statement had said that Lakhvi was running a medical dispensary to finance terrorism and he along with his associates collected funds from the dispensary for terror-financing.
In September 2020, Pakistan’s Parliament passed the Anti-Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill 2020 under which operations could be conducted to detect terrorism funding.
With the passage of the amendment bill, the investigation officer can also conduct the covert operations to track communication and computer system by applying the latest technologies to detect the funding for terrorism.
The investigation officer shall investigate within 60 days. However, the court permission has been kept mandatory under the Anti-Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill 2020 before conducting any covert operation.
The government believed that the passage of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) relating laws would bolster Pakistan’s economy after apparent chances of deletion of its name from FATF grey list.
India sponsors Terrorism
In November 2020, Pakistan revealed a damning dossier of “irrefutable evidence” of India’s sponsored terrorism in the country and creation of strong militia to sabotage China Pakistan Economic Corridor and asked the international community to play its role for peace and stability in South Asia.
From 2001 to 2020, Pakistan faced 19,130 terrorist attacks causing casualties of more than 83,000 in the war against terrorism with the monetary losses of at least USD 126 billion.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Director General of Army’s Inter-Services of Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar had exposed India’s terrorism and terror financing activities.
According to the dossier, Indian intelligence agencies in general and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in particular encouraging banned outfits of Pakistan to once again start activities against the country.
Likewise, RAW’s Officer Anurag Singh planned attack on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Gwadar in 2019 in which attackers used an Afghan SIM which was in contact with an Indian number. The dossier stated that 17 audio recordings of one of the attackers were held in which it was revealed that he was talking to his RAW handlers.
The dossier further stated that Pakistani agencies had discovered a Raw-affiliated sleeper cell in Karachi and 13 members of the gang were apprehended that were produced before the anti-terrorism courts but the main accused Mehmood Siddiqui, who was operating the network, was residing in India.
Similarly, Pakistan’s intelligence agencies on August 14 foiled a terrorist attack which was planned by India. An officer of Indian intelligence namely Major Fermin Dass had planned the attack from Kabul and he arranged rockets and explosives that were recovered. This network had already carried out seven attacks in Hub, Mastung, Quetta and Sohran on behest of Raw.
It further stated that India was providing weapons and ammunition to terrorists against Pakistan and a network of six terrorists was recently discovered which also had links to the attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi on June 29. The RAW was paying Rs10 million for a suicide attack, Rs10 million for a vehicle-borne IED, Rs1 million for an IED attack, Rs1 million for targeted killing.
Additionally, there were 87 training camps of Indian intelligence where militants against Pakistan were being trained, and 66 were operating in Afghanistan while 21 were in India.
The dossier also contained the evidence that Indian embassy and consulates in Afghanistan were a hub of terror sponsorship against Pakistan. India also prepared a 700-strong militia for carrying out terrorist attacks in Balochistan to sabotage CPEC and a commission of 24 members including 10 RAW operatives was established for this force and USD 60 million had also been allocated.