US highlights that Pakistan made meager progress in dismantling terrorist organisations

Pakistan terrorism jihadism radical islam

According to the US Bureau of Counterterrorism’s ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2021: Pakistan’, Islamabad has made meagre progress in its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organisations without delay or discrimination.

Pakistan experienced significant terrorist activity in 2021, resulting in a higher number of attacks and casualties compared to 2020. Major terrorist groups that focused on conducting attacks in Pakistan include Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and ISIS-K, the report said.

“Pakistan reviewed and revised its 2015 National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism, reducing the NAP from a 20-point plan to 14 key points, but made meagre progress on the most difficult aspects - specifically its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organizations without delay or discrimination,” it stated.

Terrorist attacks were carried out against varied targets in Pakistan's Balochistan and Sindh provinces by separatist militant groups. The terrorists used a range of tactics to attack varied targets, including suicide bombings and targeted assassinations, the report said.

In 2018, Pakistan was designated a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. It was redesignated as a CPC in 2019, 2020 and 2021. In 2018, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identified Pakistan as a jurisdiction with strategic deficiencies in its AML/CFT system and put it on the grey list.

The neighbouring country remained on the FATF's grey list till 2021.

In 2021, members of religious minorities in Pakistan faced significant threats from terrorist groups. On January 3, ISIS-K militants claimed responsibility for the murders of 11 Shia Hazara coalminers in the Kachi district of Balochistan. On April 21, five people were killed in a VBIED suicide attack in the parking lot of the Serena hotel in Quetta, Balochistan.

According to details of the investigation, the attack targeted local and foreign officials. TTP claimed responsibility for the attack, also claiming the targets were police and law enforcement, according to the Bureau of Counterterrorism's report on terrorism in Pakistan.

Moreover, a prominent journalist in Pakistan was killed in an explosion in Balochistan on October 10, 2021, and on December 30, 2021, attackers ambushed security officials in North Waziristan. Four security personnel were killed in the ensuing exchange of fire.

According to the ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2021: Pakistan’, the Pakistani government continued to implement the Antiterrorism Act of 1997, the National Counterterrorism Authority Act, the 2014 Investigation for Fair Trial Act, and major 2014 and 2020 amendments to the Antiterrorism Act, all of which give law enforcement, prosecutors and courts enhanced powers in terrorism cases.

Military, paramilitary and civilian security forces conducted counterterrorism operations throughout Pakistan against anti-state militants. Pakistani law allows for preventive detention, permits the death penalty for terrorism offences, and creates specialised courts to try terrorism cases, as per the report.

The extremist doctrine was being taught by some madrassas in Pakistan.
While the government continued efforts to increase madrassa regulation, some analysts and madrassa reform proponents observed that many madrassas failed to register with the government, provide documentation of their sources of funding, or comply with laws governing acceptance of foreign students, the report added.

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