The blow comes just two weeks after President Trump called out Pakistan for providing “safe haven” for terrorist groups operating in the region and advocated for closer ties with India.
For decades the country has permitted a number of jihadist groups to openly operate under its aegis. A map highlights the more prominent groups openly operating inside Pakistan.
Pakistan’s denial of harboring terrorist groups that conduct attacks outside of its borders falls flat on its face when looking at Lashkar-e-Taiba, which not only supports al Qaeda and the Taliban, but has executed numerous attacks inside of Pakistan’s neighbor and enemy, India, as well as in Afghanistan.
The brief designation omitted Hizbul Mujahideen’s support for al Qaeda in the past, as well as its relations with other jihadist groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba. Hizbul Mujahideen’s emir was officially listed as a global terrorist in June 2017.
Jani Khel in Paktia province has changed hands three times over the past two weeks. The loss of Jani Khel to the Taliban demonstrates the difficulties Afghan forces face in holding onto remote contested districts.
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.”
Seven years after the US withdrawal from Kunar, the Taliban and allied jihadist groups continue to wield significant influence in the province.
Jamaat ul Dawa al Quran is an excellent example of the complex and evolving network of jihadist groups that operate in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. The three designated leaders have been tied to al Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Islamic State.