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Which Terrorists Are Actually in Pakistan?

by Newsweek Pakistan

File Photo. Aref Karimi—AFP

A leaked list of groups the U.S. allegedly wants Islamabad to act against has raised eyebrows in the federal capital

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “Pakistan is willing to target terrorists if provided specific information about their whereabouts” and that Islamabad would soon be given a list of 20 terrorist outfits operating within the country. Contrary to this claim, the rumor mill in Pakistan believes Tillerson forwarded a list of 75 terrorist groups to Pakistan with “specific location on any given day of where certain individuals or certain cells may be located.” According to The Washington Post, there are three types of militants groups: those who launch attacks into Afghanistan, those who attack targets inside Pakistan and those who are focused on Kashmir.

The leaked list of terror groups allegedly inside Pakistan has been rejected by observers who challenge the presumption that the named groups are actually acting against Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Pakistani “response” in the media is that none of these groups targeting Afghanistan, India and Kashmir, are present “inside” Pakistan. This claim stands in contrast to an allegation forwarded by Caitlan Coleman that she, her husband and their children were held captive inside Pakistan for several years by the Haqqani Network.

Similarly, Harkatul Mujahideen, a Pakistani militant group with links to Al Qaeda is operating in Kashmir. Jaish-e-Muhammad, Jandullah, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Lashkar-e-Taiba, etc, are either dysfunctional or no longer in Pakistan. Other names in the list—their names not even known in Pakistan—like the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Commander Nazir Group, Indian Mujahideen, Islamic Jihad Union, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan ISIS-Khorasan, Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent and the Turkistan Islamic Party Movement, point to future disagreements over how to identify and challenge these terrorists inside Pakistan.

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