Counter-terrorism cooperation with India deepened last year: U.S. report

Notes Pakistan, an important counter-terror partner in 2016, failed to act on militancy targeting India and Afghanistan.

July 19, 2017 10:15 pm | Updated 11:08 pm IST - WASHINGTON:

The report has named Hafiz Saeed's Lashkar-e-Taiba as one of the outfits against which Pakistan has failed to take concrete action.

The report has named Hafiz Saeed's Lashkar-e-Taiba as one of the outfits against which Pakistan has failed to take concrete action.

Counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the United States deepened in 2016, the U.S. State Department’s annual ‘Country Reports on Terrorism’ released on Wednesday said. The report said the “Indian leadership expressed resolve to redouble efforts, in cooperation with the United States and with other like-minded countries, to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism.”

The report said Pakistan remained “an important counter-terrorism partner” last year, but it did not take sufficient action against groups that target India and Afghanistan. “The Pakistani military and security forces undertook operations against groups that conducted attacks within Pakistan such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan. Pakistan did not take substantial action against the Afghan Taliban or Haqqani Network, or substantially limit their ability to threaten U.S. interests in Afghanistan, although Pakistan supported efforts to bring both groups into an Afghan-led peace process.

Pakistan did not take sufficient action against other externally focused groups, such as Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in 2016, which continued to operate, train, organize, and fundraise in Pakistan,” the report said.

Terror groups on the radar

The report noted that India and the U.S. pledged to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including Al-Qaeda (AQ), Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), JeM, LeT and D-Company, including through greater collaboration on designations at the United Nations.

The report said, in 2016, U.S. and Indian officials exchanged terrorist threat information in intelligence and law enforcement channels. The U.S. Department of Justice officials worked with Indian officials, including at the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

‘India arrested 68 ISIS supporters’

Noting that while India has not joined the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, the report said New Delhi has publicly recognised the serious threat ISIS poses to global security and “affirmed efforts to degrade and defeat this threat.”

“Indian officials have stated that their government takes threats posed by ISIS seriously and Indian law enforcement agencies arrested at least 68 ISIS supporters in 2016. In some instances, clerics and family members supported government-led deradicalisation efforts,” said the report.

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