Pakistan is home to these 12 foreign terror outfits. 5 of them are India-centric

 Pakistan is home to at least 12 US-designated ‘foreign terrorist organisations’ of which five of them are India-centric, according to a new bipartisan Congressional report. These terror groups have broadly, but not exclusively, classified as globally-oriented, Afghanistan oriented, India- and Kashmir-oriented, domestically oriented, and Sectarian (anti-Shia). The report, 'Terrorist and Other Militant Groups in Pakistan, suggests Pakistan is a base of operations or target for numerous armed and non-state militant groups, some of which have existed since the 1980s.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) returned Pakistan to the “grey list” in 2018 after the country was found to have “strategic deficiencies” in countering money laundering and terror financing. Pakistan completed 26 out of 27 assigned “action plan items” but the terror financing watchdog left the status unchanged.

Pakistan has been accused of proving assistance to the Taliban that retook the power in Afghanistan last month. Afghan Taliban were named by the US as Special Designated Global Terrorists in 2002. During the two decades of US occupation in Afghanistan, the leadership of the Afghan Taliban was believed to operate mainly from the Balochistan provincial capital of Quetta, as well as in Karachi and Peshawar.

Pakistan is home to these 12 terrorist groups:

Al Qaeda (AQ) - After US-led forces expelled the terrorist group from Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks, the group has operated primarily from Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi. Since 2011, Al Qaeda has been led by Ayman al-Zawahiri and reportedly maintains supportive ties with many other terrorist groups.

Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) - According to the Congressional report, AQIS operates with an estimated several hundred members and has been implicated in terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP or IS-K) - The regional affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, ISIL, or Da’esh) is estimated to have around 1,500-2,200 fighters. Most of the recruits are former members of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). ISIS-K was responsible for the recent suicide bombing outside Kabul airport that claimed dozens of lives.

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The Haqqani Network - Founded in the late 1980s, the group was designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in 2012. Group founder Jalaluddin Haqqani’s son Sirajuddin has now become Afghanistan’s acting interior minister. With several hundred core members and an estimated 3,000-5,000 armed militants, the Haqqani Network is said to have links with Pakistan’s main intelligence service, a charge Pakistan denies.

Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) - Formed in the late 1980s in Pakistan, the terrorist group has been responsible for various high-profile attacks including the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Lashkar-e-Taiba was designated as an FTO in 2001. It is based in both Pakistan’s Punjab province and in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Jaish-e-Mohammed - The terror organisation was founded by Masood Azhar in 2000 and was designated as an FTO in 2001. Along with LeT, JeM was responsible for the attack on the Indian Parliament. Based in both Pakistan’s Punjab and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, JeM’s several hundred armed supporters operate in India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan while seeking annexation of Kashmir into Pakistan. JeM also has openly declared war on the United States.

Hizb-ul Mujahideen - Founded in 1989, the militant wing of Pakistan’s largest Islamist political party was designated as an FTO in 2017. It is one of the largest and oldest terrorist groups operating in Kashmir. Although Kashmir-based, Hizb-ul Mujahideen reportedly has key funding sources in Pakistan.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) - Pakistan has banned the terror organisation which was formed in 2007. Composed largely of ethnic Pashtun militants, TTP leadership reportedly fled into the border areas of eastern Afghanistan in response to Pakistani military operations in 2014. With suspected links to Al Qaeda, the TTP members seek to defeat Pakistan’s government and establish Sharia law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) - The ethnic-based separatist group of up to 1,000 armed militants operating mainly in ethnic Baloch areas of Pakistan. It has been responsible for a spate of violence in Balochistan for years.

Harakat-ul Jihad Islami - Formed in 1980, the group fought against the Soviet army in Afghanistan in the 1980s and later redirected its efforts toward India. At present, HUJI operates in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India, and seeks annexation of Kashmir into Pakistan.

Harakat ul-Mujahadeen - Another FTO which was designated and operates mainly from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and from some Pakistani cities. It was responsible for the 1999 hijacking of an Indian airliner, which led to the release of JeM’s future founder from an Indian prison.

Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan - This anti-Shia group was established in Pakistan's Punjab in the mid-1980s. It mainly operates in the erstwhile FATA, Punjab, Balochistan, and Karachi.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan-is-home-to-these-12-foreign-terror-outfits-5-of-them-are-indiacentric-101632832315784.html

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