Pakistan is posing multifarious challenges for those seeking to curb its sponsorship of terrorism, says European think-tank while exposing ISI’s new strategies of using terrorists for its proxy wars against its neighbours.
the ecu Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) which recently exposed Pakistan’s spy agency, the ISI’s role during a terror attack on a Gurudwara in Kabul on Annunciation , says that the agency is now pushing Kashmiri terrorists for its war in Afghanistan.
“It had been brought out that the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) had revealed that Abdullah Orakzai alias Aslam Farooqi, a key leader of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), who had been arrested with 4 of his ISKP associates for completing the attack, enjoyed “close relations” with Pakistan-based and backed terrorist groups like the Haqqani network and therefore the Lashkar-e-Taibah (LeT), which he had confessed to having links with ‘regional intelligence agencies’ a euphemism for the ISI,” the report said.
It added, “It has since emerged that one among Farooqi’s arrested associates, whom the EFSAS commentary had identified as Ali Mohammad from Islamabad, was actually a Kashmiri terrorist called Aijaz Ahmad Ahangar who at the time of his arrest was also functioning because the chief recruiter of the Islamic State for Jammu & Kashmir (J&K)
.” Aijaz Ahmad Ahangar’s case is a stimulating one, and it sheds some light on the routine of the Pakistani Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) within the region. Afghan security officials have revealed that Ahangar, after initially identifying himself as Ali Mohammad, only disclosed his true identity under more sustained questioning.
Originally a resident of Nawa Kadal in Srinagar in J&K, the now 55-year-old Ahangar had been arrested on terror charges by Indian security agencies within the 1990s. Upon his release, he found how into Bangladesh, from where he boarded a flight to Pakistan.
EFSAS research also found that when he reached Pakistan, the ISI initially settled Ahangar in Islamabad. He was then subsequently relocated to the Miranshah area of Waziristan in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that borders Afghanistan. Ahangar, after a quick fling with Al-Qaeda, eventually joined the ISKP on the directions of his handlers.
the small print of Ahangar’s life serve to demonstrate once more the immense advantages that a terror-exporting country has if the indiscriminate nature of its sponsorship of terror encourages it to prop and finance terrorist groups that focus on both of its largest neighbours, during this particular case India and Afghanistan.
“The exodus of an outsized contingent of foreign mercenaries from Afghanistan to J&K after the Soviet departure from Afghanistan within the 1990s was an early example of the Pakistani policy of relocating its surplus, expendable, or exposed terrorist assets from the western terror front to the eastern one and the other way around ,” the report added.
The think-tank found that the formation of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Afghanistan and its subsequent relocation to the east to focus predominantly on terrorist acts against India, especially in J&K, was another such example.
”Ahangar’s arrest showed that not only entire terrorist groups, even individual terrorist leaders and cadres were being flung eastward or westward by the Pakistani military establishment, as per its requirements or its convenience.
the liberty to make sure mobility and fluidity for its terrorist assets has provided an unmistakable depth to Pakistan’s terror calculus, and put serious monitoring challenges before those seeking to thwart Pakistan’s dalliance with terror,” the report said further.
The Pakistani military establishment’s recalcitrance and incorrigibility even sometimes when it's under serious international scrutiny, was also on display this last week.
Castellum.AI – a replacement York-based regulatory technology company that automates watch list compliance – observed that whilst Pakistan is scheduled to face its next evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June, the country has brashly removed as many as 4000 names from its terrorism watch list, known locally because the ‘proscribed persons list’, that's maintained by its National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA). The list contained 7800 names in 2018, which has now been reduced to 3800.
As many as 1800 names are removed since March this year. Prominent among the names that are excluded from the list is that of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT operations commander who is widely accepted to be the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.