LeT Continues To Plot Attacks Against India: US
Washington, Aug 19: Warning that LeT has the ability to “severely disrupt already delicate” regional relations, the US has said the Pakistan-based terror outfit responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks remained active in Kashmir and continued to target India along with groups like JeM and HuM.
The US State Department, in its annual report on terrorism, voiced concern over continued presence of terrorist safe havens inside Pakistan.
“Despite international condemnation for its November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) continued to plan regional operations from within Pakistan. While the Government of Pakistan has banned LeT, the United States continued to urge further action against this group and its front organisations,” the State Department said.
“The potential for WMD trafficking and proliferation remained of concern in Pakistan due to the porous borders and the difficult security situation. Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) has enabled Pakistani officials to gain expertise in properly classifying items of proliferation concern and learn about export licensing best practices,” it said.
The report also said that several outlawed Pakistan-based terror groups remained active in Kashmir and continued to target India and plan attacks on it.
Prominent among these terror groups are Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Harkat ul-Mujahideen (HuM), which are having hundreds of armed supporters in Kashmir. LeT, designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in 2001, is one of the largest and most proficient of the traditionally Kashmir-focused militant groups. “It has the ability to severely disrupt already delicate regional relation,” the report said.
The actual size of LeT is unknown, but it has several thousand members in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Pakistan's Punjab Pakistan and in India's southern Jammu, Kashmir and Doda regions, the State Department report said.
“Most LeT members are Pakistanis or Afghans and/or veterans of the Afghan wars. The group uses assault rifles, light and heavy machine guns, mortars, explosives, and rocket-propelled grenades,” it said.
LeT maintains a number of facilities, including training camps, schools, and medical clinics in Pakistan. It has global connections and a strong operational network throughout South Asia, the State Department said.
Based in Muzaffarabad, Rawalpindi, and several other cities in Pakistan, Harkat ul-Mujahideen (HuM) conducts insurgent and terrorist operations primarily in Kashmir and Afghanistan. It trains its militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
On JeM, which designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in 2001, the report said it has at least several hundred armed supporters - including a large cadre of former HuM members - located in Pakistan, India's southern Kashmir and Doda regions and in the Valley.
The report said that despite efforts by Pakistani security forces, al-Qaeda terrorists, Afghan militants, foreign insurgents and Pakistani militants continued to find safe haven in portions of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Khyber Paktunkhwa and Balochistan.
“Al-Qaeda and other groups such as the Haqqani Network used Pakistani safe havens to launch attacks in Afghanistan, plan operations worldwide, train, recruit, and disseminate propaganda,” it said. PTI