Mohammad Hanif was involved in the 2002 assassination attempt on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the suicide attack on the U.S. Consulate in Karachi that same year. He was killed in Farah province. But the Taliban somehow continues to maintain that Al Qaeda isn’t in Afghanistan.
Pakistan remains a “safe haven” for a host of regional terror groups, including the Afghan Taliban and its integral subgroup, the Al Qaeda linked Haqqani Network, according the the State Department’s newly released Country Reports on Terrorism 2019.
Pakistan continues to play its double game by supporting terror groups. Thousands of Pakistanis, including fighters from the Pakistan state-sponsored Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, as well as the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, continue to support the Taliban’s jihad against the Afghan government.
If Pakistan was sincere about tackling terrorists groups and their leaders and operatives, Khalil would be at the top of the target list. Instead, he has been welcomed with open arms into Imran Khan’s political party.
General Bajwa and Pakistani officials can pontificate all they like about how their country has eliminated terrorism and no longer permit terrorists to use its soil to attack another country. A look at the facts tells another story, and that is one of Pakistani duplicity.
While denouncing the designation of Syed Salahuddin, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that “Pakistan has a demonstrated and longstanding commitment of combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”
Bill Roggio testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade on terrorist groups in Afghanistan and the threat posed to the United States and its allies.
Mawlana Salimullah Khan was also the president of Pakistan’s largest confederation of Deobani seminaries and schools. His son and grandson were deported from the United States for immigration violations after the FBI linked them to an al Qaeda plot in California.
Bill Roggio testifies before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, as well as the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. The hearing is titled, “Pakistan: Friend or Foe in the Fight Against Terrorism?”
The Taliban and allied groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al Qaeda, Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, and Lashkar-e-Taiba are known to have run dozens of camps inside Afghanistan even as the Coalition was present.
Recently released letters recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound reveal that key Pakistani leaders, including the brother of Pakistan’s current prime minister, sought out negotiations with al Qaeda. Pakistan intelligence also communicated with al Qaeda leaders through jihadist intermediaries to discuss a possible truce.
Fazle-ur-Rahman Khalil, Harakat-ul-Mujahideen’s founder and leader, signed Osama bin Laden’s infamous 1998 fatwa that declared war on the US and Israel. HUM was added to the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations 18 years ago.
The pair of al Qaeda commanders are said to be members of the Badr Mansoor Group, which was described in one of Osama bin Laden’s documents as an al Qaeda “company.”
Usama Mahmoud, AQIS’s spokesman, openly stated that the group “was formed by the gathering of several jihadi groups that have a long history in jihad and fighting.”
The jihadist group, which is tolerated by the Pakistani state and whose leader lives openly in Islamabad, is currently running training camps in eastern Afghanistan, the US State Department said.
Fazle-ur-Rahman Khalil, the man Osama bin Laden consulted before issuing his infamous fatwa against the US, lives comfortably near Islamabad.