Human rights activist Qureshi raises concern over Pakistan’s terror links

Pakistan terrorism jihadism radical islam

Director of the Amsterdam-based think-tank, the European Foundation for South Asian Studies, Junaid Qureshi, raised concern over Pakistan’s terror at a conference on ‘Extremism and Violence and its Impact on Societies.’

It was hosted by Fabian Hamilton, Labour Member of Parliament for Leeds North East Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament, Latin America and the Caribbean on Tuesday in the Jubilee Room Westminster Hall House of Commons SWIA OAA London United Kingdom.

Qureshi a Kashmiri from Srinagar and a human rights activist, said terror linkages to Pakistan continue to hold serious dangers across the world.

“Pakistan’s long and blemished history of sponsoring almost all the terrorist groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir is now an open secret. In the late eighties, it again unleashed a policy of death and destruction by exporting terrorism into the Kashmir Valley through its various terrorist proxies like Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. To this day, the Pakistani Military Establishment continues to patronize dozens of terrorist groups. Thousands of my fellow Kashmiris have died in this proxy war orchestrated by Pakistan,” said Qureshi.

The conference aimed to bring together experts, researchers, politicians, civil society activist and policymakers from various fields to discuss and analyze the social, economic, and political aspects of religious and nonreligious extremism.

Tens of thousands of people have died in J&K and at least three generations have been victims of terrorism and violence culminating into full-blown terrorism.

“The induction of the ugly head of terrorism into Jammu- Kashmir by Pakistan, was sown on the 22nd of October 1947,” said the EFSAS director.

Talking to CNN in February 2019, former Foreign minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, admitted that UN-designated terrorist and chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Masood Azhar, resided in Pakistan.

To BBC in March 2019, the minister confessed that his government and Jaish-e-Mohammed maintained official contact.

In July 2019, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan told the US Institute of Peace that his country hosted 40,000 terrorists. In June 2020, the former PM referred to Al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden as a “Martyr” in the country’s Parliament.

In August 2020, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged the presence of UN Designated Terrorist, Dawood Ibrahim on its territory.

The UN Security Council’s consolidated list of terrorist individuals and entities continues to include 146 entries from Pakistan.

“These are confessions and admissions made by the highest officials of Pakistan. Terrorist attacks in the US, London, Madrid and Paris have exhibited that the threat of terrorism is no longer restricted to its region of origin. The UK is particularly vulnerable to this threat, due to its large Pakistani community. As per the British security services, at least three in every four terror plots in the UK had their roots in Pakistan,” said Qureshi.

In 2018, Oxford University observed that the majority of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world are hosted or aided by Pakistan and that Pakistan is responsible for 3 times the terror risk to humanity that Syria poses, more than 5 times the risk that Libya poses, and 7 times the risk that Iraq poses.

It further mentioned that in Pakistan, an interdependent relationship between state institutions and terrorist groups has grown over the years and the risk of the capture of nuclear weapons by terrorist groups cannot be ruled out.

“The report aptly concluded that it is time for the international community to act in concert to demolish the infrastructure of terror in Pakistan,” said Qureshi.

Terror linkages to Pakistan continue to hold serious dangers for the UK as demonstrated afresh by the London Bridge attack and the plot to murder a Pakistani blogger in the Netherlands by a British citizen of Pakistani origin on the orders of the powerful Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI.

“The gravity and repeated threat to the UK and the rest of the world that Pakistan’s dynamic terrorist infrastructure poses have not been taken notice of adequately,” said Qureshi.

While the UK did place Pakistan on its list of high-risk countries for terror financing and money laundering in 2021, it reversed this decision just a year later.

“The hard fact for the UK remains that unless Pakistan is forced to relent unless its soil no longer remains a fertile breeding ground for terror that Pakistani-British youth get drawn to and have access to, terror clouds will continue to hover dangerously low over the UK. If unilateral efforts fall short, the UK must use its considerable influence in the international domain to clamp down on Pakistan collectively,” said Qureshi.

The total trade between the UK and Pakistan was 4.1 billion Pounds in 2022, an increase of 39 per cent from the previous year. Total UK imports from Pakistan amounted to 2.5 billion Pounds, an increase of 38 per cent.

Between 2015 and 2019, Pakistan was the largest single recipient of UK Aid. In 2020, it received approximately 320 million pounds in aid.

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