US urges Pakistan to rein in terrorists

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with US Secretary of State John Kerry (File)

Osama Bin Laden, Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salauhdin, Burhan Wani…the list of world’s most wanted terrorists have something in common- an address in Pakistan….writes Syed Shihabudheen

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif   with US Secretary of State John Kerry (File)
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with US Secretary of State John Kerry (File)

What is wrong with Pakistan? It is always on the wrong side of the law when terrorism was concerned. The latest is Turkey, an influential country in the Islamic world. They are asking Pakistan to shut down over 15 institutions of Fethullah Gulen — the US-based cleric whom Ankara accuses of masterminding and backing the July 16 failed military coup attempt in that country.

The US has already expressed concern over the free movement of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan despite his being designated as a terrorist by the UN.

“As we’ve said from this podium many times, we remain concerned about his activities,” Elizabeth Trudeau, Director in the US State Department press office, said at a daily press briefing.

She was responding to a question on Saeed moving around freely in Pakistan and giving interviews.

Saeed reportedly said the US was giving India a free hand by not condemning the ongoing violence in Kashmir.

At least 40 people have died in large-scale violence in Kashmir following the killing of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Muzzaffar Wani, 22, in a gunfight on July 8.

Wani was a rising star of the Hizbul Mujahideen under Hafiz Saeed. He joined the terror outfit in 2010 and soon become a poster boy for recruitment. The young lad was popular among the youths and become the head of a new generation of militants. The knowledge of technology and social media helped him to spread his messages to a wider population.

Investigations reveal that there are at least 15 cases registered against Wani. He was involved in various terrorist activities that included the killing of several local politicians and security forces. But he was cornered during a search. He was spotted along with a team of armed terrorists at Kokernag in Anantnag on July 8. He was killed along with two other wanted terrorists – Sartaj Ahmad Sheikh and Parvaiz Ahmad Dar.

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed
Hafiz Mohammad Saeed

Pakistan authorities are giving free hand to terrorists to fuel unrest in the region.  Their headquarters is based in the capital and their base camp is located at Muzaffarabad. An open secret and it operates under “United Jihad Council (UJC),” an umbrella for different terrorist organisations. The new chief is Syed Salauhdin.

Trudeau pointed out that Saeed has been listed by the UN Security Council’s 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee and is also on the US rewards for Justice Program.

“Obviously we disagree with his premise (Saeed’s statement on US position on India), but we’ve also been very clear with the government of Pakistan that they must target and root out these extremist groups, all militant groups and Taliban,” she stated.

Pakistan observed “Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan Day” on July 19 and ‘Black Day’  on July 20 in Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). The government machinery was used to drum up support for the protest rallies, some of them led by wanted terrorists.

“We have seen reports about rallies, events and statements related to Jammu & Kashmir in Pakistan and POK over the last two days,” an official spokesman said in New Delhi. “We have also noted that the events were led by UN-designated terrorists, who had in the past protested the elimination of dreaded terrorists including Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour in Pakistan.

“India strongly condemns the encouragement and support which such terrorists and their activities receive from Pakistan’s state,” he added.

Pakistan is fuelling unrest in Kashmir to divert attention to some of its domestic issues. The prime minister Nawaz Sharif is facing a dilemma over choosing a successor. The ailing prime minister, who returned from London after a major open heart surgery is torn in between his children and brother.   Opposition leader Imran Khan is accusing Sharif of planning a monarchy in Pakistan.

The Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman said the country is not facing any threat from the army, but from the “monarchy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”.

Imran Khan said Pakistani people were more democracy-loving than their Turkish brethren but they did not support Sharif because the Prime Minister was amassing wealth.

Pakistan could become one of the great countries only if corruption was eliminated from it, Imran Khan said referring to Sharif family’s name figuring in the Panama Paper leaks on offshore firms.

“British Prime Minister David Cameron clarified his position in parliament and when the Iceland Prime Minister failed to do so, he resigned. Contrarily, Sharif left the country for 48 days in the name of medical treatment,” Imran Khan said referring to Sharif’s stay in London following his open heart surgery on May 31.

If Pakistan is not taking tough action against terror outfits operating in its soil, it is going to face the consequences of its actions. Terror ruined the neighbouring Afghanistan and the country is still paying the price for its association with terror outfits for short-term gains.