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Indo-Pak peace talks a far cry: The Nation

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Image source: www.thewhy.com

-NewsGram Staff Writer

Islamabad:  Pakistani daily ‘The Nation’ alleged on Saturday that India-Pakistan peace talks will only be possible if BJP is voted out of power in India. In an editorial, the daily claimed that despite Islamabad’s attempts, New Delhi was not ready for reconciliation.

“The BJP might hopefully lose power soon, and maybe we can start (peace talks) again with a more level-headed government,” it said.

The editorial came after Pakistan’s permanent representative to UN, Maliha Lodhi, handed over to the UN three dossiers allegedly containing “proof” of Indian involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan.

Sartaz Aziz, adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on national security and foreign affairs, also accused India of repeatedly violating the 2003 ceasefire pact with Pakistan on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

“As far as the Indian government goes, Pakistan is the primary sponsor of terrorism, and they will stick by this claim no matter what those dossiers state,” the daily said.

“Even if the audio and video evidence present in these files prove beyond doubt that India is indeed sponsoring state terrorism in Pakistan, nothing will change,” the daily said adding, “for now, India is at an international high and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a superstar. (But) this will fade.”

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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US Designates Hizbul Mujahideen as Foreign Terrorist Organization

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Hizbul Mujahideen, terrorist-organization
The Hizbul Mujahideen has been referred as a terrorist-organization by the U.S. Department of State. Twitter
  • Hizbul Mujahideen, formed in the year 1989, is one of the oldest as well as the largest militant groups that is operating actively in Kashmir
  • The militant group of Hizbul Mujahideen is known to have claimed the responsibility for multiple attacks

Washington D.C. [United States], Aug 16, 2017: The Hizbul Mujahideen has been referred as a terrorist-organization by the U.S. Department of State, under the Immigration and Nationality Act of section 219.

A statement by U.S. State Department reports that “these designations seek to deny HM the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of HM’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group,” ANI reports stated.

ALSO READ: ‘Blood Stained Hands’ Plan to Take Over Pakistan’s Political Reigns as Terrorist Organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Prepares to Enter Politics

It further added that “today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that HM is a terrorist organization. Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments.”

According to ANI reports, Hizbul Mujahideen, formed in the year 1989, is one of the oldest as well as the largest militant groups that are operating actively in Kashmir.

The infamous militant group is led by Mohammad Yusuf Shah, the Specially Designated Global Terrorist, who is also referred as Syed Salahuddin. He was named as Global Terrorist by the US a couple of months back.

Reportedly, the militant group of Hizbul Mujahideen is known to have claimed the responsibility for multiple attacks which includes the explosive attack in Jammu and Kashmir that left 17 people severely injured, in the month of April of 2014.

Salahuddin had vowed in the month of September 2016, to bar any sort of peaceful conclusion of the conflict regarding Kashmir. He further gave threats to train many more suicide bombers in Kashmir, and that he would turn the valley into a complete graveyard for the Indian Forces.

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Huriyat Chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s Son-in-Law, others produced before Delhi Court due to Terror Funding

Geelani’s son Nayeem is on the talks to naturally succeed the leadership of the separatist organization ‘Tehrak-e-Huriyat’

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Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Twitter
  • Sons of Geelani- Naseem and Nayeem were queried by the National Investigation Agency on 8th August
  • Geelani’s son Nayeem is on the talks to naturally succeed the leadership of the separatist organization ‘Tehrak-e-Huriyat’
  • The case was registered by the National Investigation Agency on 30th May

New Delhi, August 15, 2017: Altaf Ahmad Shah, the son in law of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is the chief of Huriyat was alleged to be connected in the in the case of terror-funding, which allegedly involved Hafiz Saeed who is the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Along with Altaf Ahmad Shah, Peer Saifullah and Mehrajuddin Kalwal were presented before the Patiala House Court in Delhi on Monday.

Sons of Geelani- Naseem and Nayeem were queried by the National Investigation Agency on 8th August in an almost same matter, mentioned ANI report. The agency went through hardcore investigation to unearth the findings.

ALSO READ: India and Pakistan have to become Peaceful Neighbours, says Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti

According to the reports of ANI, Geelani’s son Nayeem is on the talks to naturally succeed the leadership of the separatist organization ‘Tehrak-e-Huriyat’, which comprises of the hardline parties with pro-Pakistan agenda. It is not a startling news because Nayeem is about to inherit the leadership as a successor to his famous father, Geelani.

The case was registered by the National Investigation Agency on 30th May. The leaders of secessionist kind and of separatist nature, were accused to be engaged in activities of the terror groups.

The case has been registered due to attempts of raising, acquiring and accumulating funds by multiple illegal ways in order to fund the terrorist and the separatist activities that are ongoing in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir, ANI has reported. These activities have been in the discussion and also frowned upon for quite a long time.

According to the reports, the fundraising for the terror activities is not the only major issue in the case, but there are multiple other issues that have been questioned and pointed to for disrupting the peace in the valley. Such activities include- severe damage of public property, burning institutions, stone-pelting directed to the security forces, and first and foremost- raising a conflict and waging a war against India.

Reportedly, various search-activities were conducted by the National Investigation Agency, in multiple states besides Delhi and Haryana. ANI reports that many a valuables worth of crores, and electronic devices were also discovered and seized from the raids.

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Pakistan’s Northwest Province Struggles To Fight Against Terror Financing

Despite its continued efforts against terrorism, terror financing remains a challenge for Pakistan due to political resistance, sympathizers and money trails that are hard to track, analysts say.

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Terror Financing
Terror Financing. Pixabay

Pakistan’s restive northwest province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has issued directives to its administrative and security departments to make serious efforts to cut off the money supply of banned terror groups.

The provincial departments have been instructed to devise a strategy to crack down and to closely monitor the proscribed groups and individuals involved in raising funds illegally for welfare or religious purposes, Pakistani media reported.

Despite its continued efforts against terrorism, terror financing remains a challenge for Pakistan due to political resistance, sympathizers and money trails that are hard to track, analysts say.

 

“Pakistan will have to come up with a strategy to freeze assets of terror groups, make it difficult for terrorists to gather funds, but to also spot those who’ve adopted new identities and have re-established their networks,” A. Z. Hilali, head of political science department at the Peshawar University told VOA.

Suspect groups identified

The official document circulated by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s government emphasized banned groups are not allowed to gather money “under any circumstances” and security forces and the administration should ensure people and groups raising money for mosques, charity or madrassas (religious seminaries) are lawfully doing so.

In 2015, Pakistan banned around 200 terror groups after establishing their involvement in sectarian and terrorism related activities against the state.

Pakistan had also frozen around $3 million worth of assets of 5,000 suspected terrorists last year. “We will make every possible effort to implement National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terror financing in our province,” Shaukat Yousafzai, spokesperson for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government told VOA.

“We’re the biggest victim of terrorism and we do not want them [terrorists] to succeed. We’ll also work to start awareness programs so that banned groups can be prohibited from gathering funds from the masses,” Yousafzai said.

A report issued by the Financial Monitoring Unit of Pakistan in March estimated the annual operational budget of terrorist organizations is $48,000 to $240,000.

The terror groups in Pakistan generate hefty amounts through charity and welfare work, receive huge foreign donations and use the “hawala system,” an alternative finance system, used for money laundering, experts say.

Also Read: US has given Pakistan $265 million to fight terror: US State Department report.

National plan

Pakistan’s National Action Plan, a comprehensive strategy aimed at eliminating extremism mentions the state should “choke financing for terrorist and terrorist organizations.”

Hilali says there is a need to introduce legislation to prohibit collection of funds from the general public. “Terrorists collect large sums of money especially during the holy month of Ramadan under the guise of Zakat [mandatory Islamic charity].”

“The madrassas [religious seminaries] also play an important role and we are aware that a few of them remained involved in collecting funds on behalf of banned terror outfits in the past,” Hilali added.

Security analysts also stress that the government should regulate and register all the religious seminaries across the country and should practice caution before making donations to religious organizations and seminaries.

In 2016, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s government received scathing criticism when it allocated a grant of $3 million to Darul Uloom Haqqania, a religious seminary that is interpreted by some critics as the “University of Jihad.”

The Haqqani network, considered a terrorist group by Afghanistan and the United States, continues to fight Afghan and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

U.S. officials have long accused Pakistan of providing support to the Haqqani network. The U.S. State Department released its annual Country Report on Terrorism 2016 earlier this month. It criticized Pakistan and said it remained unsuccessful in stopping the activities of the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network. (VOA)