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Pak`s ISI sponsors Kashmiri militant groups: FBI

This is the first ever open acknowledgment by the US that Pakistan is a State Sponsor of Terrorism.



Washington: Pakistan`s spy agency ISI
sponsors terrorism in Kashmir and it oversees terrorist groups
there, the FBI has said in the first ever open acknowledgment
by a US agency that Islamabad is a `State Sponsor of
Terrorism`.

In a 43-page affidavit to a US court in Alexandria in
a case related to the arrest of Kashmiri separatist leader
Ghulam Nabi Fai, Special FBI agent Sarah Webb Linden said that
the ISI`s Security Directorate "oversees Kashmiri militant
groups".

Linden mentioned about Brigadier Javeed Aziz Khan, the
ISI officer who handled Fai, head of the Washington-based
Kashmiri American Council (KAC), and identified him as Fai`s
primary supervisor within the spy agency.

"On July 17, 2009, Khan e-mailed Fai a detailed
outline for the format of a briefing about the history and
goals of KAC which Fai was to provide during the upcoming
visit of a Pakistani dignitary. I believe that Khan referred
to the upcoming visit of Major General Mumtaz Ahmad Bajwa, who
in late 2008 had been placed in command of the ISI`s Security
Directorate, which oversees Kashmiri militant groups," Linden
said in her affidavit.

This is the first ever open acknowledgment by the
United States that Pakistan is a State Sponsor of Terrorism,
an argument which India has been making for long.

The FBI`s affidavit before the Alexandria court adds
to the revelations during the trial of Tahawwur Rana in a
Chicago court early this year.

Now, it is being argued that Pakistan fits into
American standard of State Sponsors of Terrorism criteria in
more than one way.

Pakistan provides safe haven and ideological support
to members of terrorist groups that are designated as Foreign
Terrorist Organization by the US (like Lashkar-e- Toiba,
Hizbul Mujahideen etc); and for continuing to permit US
fugitives and terrorists designated by the UN to live in the
country (Osama bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, Dawood Ibrahim etc).

Further it is principal supporter of groups that are
implacably opposed to the US role in Afghanistan and a general
anti-Indian stance (Haqqani network, LeT, HM etc.), provides
weapons, training and funding to terrorist groups (LeT as
revealed by David Headley in his testimony in the Chicago
Court) and is unwilling to bring to justice senior al Qaeda
leaders (bin Laden was living in Abbottabad for five years).

Not only this, in Pakistan there is also the existence
of foreign fighter facilitation networks (all terrorist plots
that have targeted the US, including the Times Square bombing
plot, Shoe Bomber etc. were traced back to training in
Pakistan and similarly, existence of large number of foreign
fighters for al-Qaeda in Pakistan training camps), experts
feel.

As in the case of Sudan, which has been declared as a
State Sponsor of Terrorism by the US in spite of the strong
counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries,
because al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist elements as well as
elements of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and HAMAS, remained
in Sudan, presence of Haqqani network, LeT, HM, and other
affiliated groups of al-Qaeda in Pakistan puts it on the same
pedestal, they say.

According to the US, State sponsors of terrorism
provide critical support to many non-state terrorist groups.

Without state sponsors, these groups would have
greater difficulty obtaining the funds, weapons, materials,
and secure areas they require to plan and conduct operations.

PTI

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