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.
Pakistan is a state where those who push the bounds of what is acceptable to the military and Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, including jihadists, politicians, journalists, and activists, end up missing or are found murdered. Pakistan has weathered nearly two decades of international condemnation over Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, yet he and his terrorist entities have not only survived, but thrived.
If history is any guide, Laskahr-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed and his cadre will dodge the charges and continue to provide support to a wide range of terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban.
According to a recently released report by a UN Security Council monitoring team, the Taliban is the “primary partner for all foreign terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan,” including al Qaeda. The only exception is the Islamic State, which opposes the Taliban.
An 18-year-old man from North Texas has pleaded guilty to charges that he conspired to actively recruit for the Pakistani-backed terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), according to a release from the Department of Justice last week.
If the past is any guide, the efforts are merely eyewash to placate Western governments in the wake of major terror attacks emanating from Pakistani soil. Pakistan has claimed it has shut down JuD offices and detained its top leaders in the past, only to allow the offices to reopen and the leaders free months later.
Khan’s claim that “our [Pakistani] soil is not used for carrying out terrorist attacks in other countries” is remarkably similar, if not identical to the Afghan Taliban’s false assurances that it won’t allow its territory to be used by terror groups.