The United States of America has said in a report that Pakistan has not taken steps under its domestic authorities to prosecute the terrorist leaders residing in the country who masterminded the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which over 175 people lost their lives.
“Pakistan did not, however, take steps under its domestic authorities to prosecute other terrorist leaders residing in Pakistan, such as JeM founder Masood Azhar and LeT’s Sajid Mir, mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks,” says the Country Reports on Terrorism 2020, released by the US Department of State.
Masood Azhar, who founded the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed and was designated a global terrorist by the United Nations Security Council on May 1, 2019, is responsible for planning several major strikes on Indian soil including the 2001 attack on Parliament, the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2019 Pulwama terror attack.
Sajid Mir, one of the top commanders of the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) who lives in Pakistan, also figures in the most-wanted list of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
As per the FBI, Mir is wanted for his alleged involvement in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. “Beginning on November 26, 2008, and continuing through November 29, 2008, ten attackers trained by the Pakistan-based foreign terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) carried out a series of coordinated attacks against multiple targets in Mumbai, including hotels, cafes, and a train station, killing approximately 170 people. Six Americans were killed during the three day attacks. Mir allegedly served as the chief planner of the attacks, directing preparations and reconnaissance, and was one of the Pakistan-based controllers during the attacks. Additionally, Mir allegedly conspired to commit a terrorist attack against a newspaper and its employees in Denmark between 2008 and 2009,” the FBI lookout notice for Mir reads.
The report says that in the month of February and again in November a Lahore anti-terrorism count convicted LeT founder Hafiz Saeed on multiple counts of terror financing and sentenced him to five years and six months in prison, but Pakistan did not take steps to prosecute other terrorist leaders residing in the country.
The report prepared by the counterterrorism wing of the US Department of State is submitted in compliance with title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f (the ‘Act’) which requires the department to provide to congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act.
Further nailing the lies of Pakistan that it does not support terrorism on its soil, the report observes that the nation has made “limited progress” in its pledge to dismantle all the terrorist organisations without delay or discrimination.
“Pakistan made limited progress on the most difficult aspects of its 2015 National Action Plan to counter terrorism, specifically in its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organizations without delay or discrimination,” the report says.
It says that on April 2, the Sindh High Court overturned the 2002 convictions of Omar Sheikh and three co-conspirators for the 2002 kidnapping and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
“While the Supreme Court of Pakistan sustained the Sindh High Court’s April decision, provincial and federal officials’ appeals continued through the end of the year,” it states.
According to the report, member states of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) in its meeting held in October decided to keep Pakistan on the agency’s grey list through the 2021 plenary.
The report says the Pakistan government operates five “deradicalization” camps offering “corrective religious education,” vocational training, counselling, and therapy. However, several madrassas continue to teach violent extremist doctrine.