US terror report expresses continued frustration with Pakistan

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 20, 2015 04:19 IST

The United States slammed Pakistan on Friday, as it has every year in recent times, for selective action against terrorist groups — acting against some and letting others thrive.

While acknowledging and appreciating military action undertaken by Pakistan against Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the US state department’s annual country report on terrorism for 2014 said “it did not take action against other groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, which continued to operate, train, rally, propagandize, and fundraise in Pakistan.”

State department does an annual country-wise report of terrorism, which for 2014, had ISIS as the top US concern displacing al Qaeda, saying, for the “unprecedented seizure of territory in Iraq and Syria, the continued flow of foreign terrorist fighters worldwide to join ISIL, and the rise of lone offender violent extremists in the West”.

But the report’s take on South Asia remained much the same in letter and spirit, even the wordings were the same in some cases as, for instance in 2013. South Asia remained, as in 2013, “a front line in the battle against terrorism”.

And its reporting on Pakistan’s flawed fight against terrorism also didn't change much. The finding on Lashkar, quoted above, was the same. Though the observations on action against Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network showed some progress — from no “significant military or law enforcement action against these groups” in 2013 to “although Pakistan military operations disrupted the actions of these groups, it did not directly target them” in 2104.

United States has been extremely critical of Pakistan’s record on fighting terrorism and one of it top generals once called the Haqqani network a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI. And President Barack Obama specially instructed officials not to give Pakistan an advance notice about the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, fearing it will be leaked.

The country report listed continuing US frustration with Pakistan on terrorism. Information sharing on kidnapped US citizens needs to improve, the report said, adding, that though Pakistan has pledged to assist in the apprehension of US citizen fugitives in “practical implementation of this pledge has been lacking”.

In the same vein, the report pointed out that “UN-designated terrorist organizations continued to skirt sanctions by reconstituting themselves under different names, often with little effort to hide their connections to previously banned groups, and the government does not prosecute CFT (countering the financing of terrorism) cases”.

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