Terror activities up in J&K since 2021, India tells U.N. panel

Committee informed that there were 600 terror camps across J&K in mid-2018, which came down to 150 in the middle of 2021; from 2021 to September 2022, the number of terror bases sharply increased to 225

October 29, 2022 10:00 pm | Updated October 30, 2022 07:25 am IST - New Delhi

Image for representation purpose only.

Image for representation purpose only. | Photo Credit: PTI

India informed the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) that there has been a steep rise in cross-border terror activities in Jammu & Kashmir since the end of 2021, around the time when severe financial strictures by global terror-financing watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), were eased on a “troublesome jurisdiction”.

Earlier this month, the FATF removed Pakistan from the “grey list” of countries under “increased monitoring”. India informed the panel that terror activities had seen a slump from 2018 to the end of 2021, during which time Pakistan was placed on the grey list. 

Safi Rizvi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on the first day of the UNSC committee’s meeting in Mumbai on October 28, informed that in mid-2018, there had been close to 600 terror camps across the J&K border. This was the time when Pakistan was first placed on the grey list. “The cross-border terror bases went down by 75% during the FATF listing. The Counter Terrorism Committee should notice how effective the U.N. designations and listings by the FATF are. The moment the talk started that the grey listing is about to end, the bases have gone up by 50% and we are expecting more scalable and more attacks on hard targets [security installations] and much more trouble,” Mr. Rizvi said. 

According to the presentation made before the committee, there were 600 terror camps across J&K in mid-2018, which came down to 150 in the middle of 2021. From 2021 to September 2022, the number of terror bases sharply increased to 225. 

He added that since end-2021, “the return of cross border terrorist infrastructure and the return of attacks on Indian targets” is noticeable. 

Mr. Rizvi said that the FATF listing of Pakistan from 2018-2022 saw relative peace. 

Highlighting the importance of the U.N.’s designations, Mr. Rizvi said the designated terrorists were either arrested or convicted, and open terrorist activities such as collecting donations through appeals on social media and holding public rallies, were restricted. To substantiate, he shared a photograph of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed, a U.N. designated terrorist, holding a public rally in Pakistan in December 2017. The officer said after the U.N. designations were enforced by the FATF in 2018, the rallies stopped. 

He added that during the grey list period, nine India-focussed U.N. designated terrorists had been convicted in Pakistan. He said Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, who had close links with Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, was convicted in absentia in 2019, although he has never been arrested. 

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