Posts Tagged ‘Lashkar-e-Tayyiba’

Pakistan urges US to resume its balancing role in South Asia — Government discussing permanent ban on JuD, other ‘terror’ groups

April 8, 2018

Pakistan Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary says “the United States always brought a balance.  Peace in South Asia is better served if the United States assumes the role of a balanced power-player.”

Image result for Pakistan Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, photos

Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry presents his diplomatic credentials to US President Donald Trump

Dawn (Pakistan)

By 

Updated April 08, 2018

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has asked the United States to resume the balancing role that it played in South Asia before it started to build a strategic partnership with India.

“We are saying to the US administration that the United States always brought a balance in SA, but this recent tilt has created an imbalance,” said Pakistan Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary.

“This tilt has also emboldened the Indian government to go for a heavy-handed approach, which is the most manifest in occupied Kashmir,” said Mr Chaudhary while briefing the US and Pakistani journalists on Friday.

“The policy of Hindutva will not bode well for either India or the region but what happens in India is for them to worry about, not for us,” he said. “Peace in South Asia is better served if the United States assumes the role of a balanced power-player.”

A fact-sheet presented to the media noted that Indian forces had killed 20 innocent Kashmir in the last few days. It described the uprising in India-held Kashmir as a legitimate struggle for the realisation of their right of self-determination, not terrorism.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2018

https://www.dawn.com/news/1400325/pakistan-urges-us-to-resume-its-balancing-role-in-south-asia

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Image result for Jamaatud Dawa, photos

Jamaat ul Dawa al Quran (JDQ), which is “based in Peshawar, Pakistan, and eastern Afghanistan” has “long-standing ties to al Qaeda and Lashkar e-Tayyiba.”

ISLAMABAD: The government is working on a draft bill to replace the presidential ordinance that banned Jamaatud Dawa as well as other organisations and individuals on the watch list of the interior ministry.

Sources in the law ministry told Dawn that the proposed draft bill to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997 was likely to be tabled in the upcoming session of the National Assembly scheduled to commence on April 9 (tomorrow). The law ministry was involved in the process for the purpose of vetting the proposed draft bill, the sources said, adding that the military establishment was also on board.

The government decided to prepare a draft bill to amend the ATA as part of its damage-control campaign after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) approved a nomination proposal tabled jointly by the US, the UK, France and Germany to place Pakistan on the international watchdog’s money-laundering and terror-financing grey list in February.

Bill being tabled in NA to replace ordinance which amended law to include entities listed by UNSC as proscribed groups

Earlier, President Mamnoon Hussain had promulgated the ordinance amending the ATA to include entities listed by the UNSC as proscribed groups. The ordinance had been issued under Article 89 of the Constitution which empowers “President to promulgate ordinances” but the ordinance expires in 120 days. The National Assembly can extend it for another four months after which it has to be tabled before both the houses i.e. National Assembly and Senate for further extension.

Through the ordinance, amendments were made to ATA’s Section 11-B that sets out parameters for proscription of groups and Section 11-EE that describes the grounds for listing of individuals. In both sections, Sub-Section ‘aa’ was added. According to the sub-section, organisations and individuals “listed under the United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1948 (XIV of 1948), or” will be included in the First Schedule (for organisations) and Fourth Schedule (for individuals), respectively, on an ex parte basis.

Under Section 11-EE, the requirements were: “(a) concerned in terrorism; (b) an activist, office-bearer or an associate of an organisation kept under observation under section 11D or proscribed under section 11B; and (c) in any way concerned or suspected to be concerned with such organisation or affiliated with any group or organisation suspected to be involved in terrorism or sectarianism or acting on behalf of, or at the direction of, any person or organisation proscribed under this Act.”

Database being prepared

In addition to the draft bill, which is likely to be tabled in the upcoming NA session, Pakistan is preparing a consolidated database of known terrorists and terrorist organisations which will be accessible to financial institutions and law-enforcement agencies of the country to strengthen the regime against money laundering and terror financing.

For the enforcement of prohibition of funds and financial services, it was recommended to the authorities to ensure that statutory regulatory orders issued under UNSC Resolutions-1267 and -1373 (issued under ATA) are implemented without delay. The government would also frame the ATA’s freezing and seizure rules and ensure that Anti-Terrorism Amendment Ordinance 2018 is enacted through the parliament, according to the draft action plan.

The amendment to the ATA would also enable investigation officers to be trained to investigate sources of funding besides other financial aspects in terrorism cases.

The presidential ordinance has already been challenged by JuD chief Hafiz Saeed in the Islamabad High Court. He claimed that the ordinance had been promulgated due to external pressure and hence was not only prejudicial to the sovereignty but also contradictory to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.

When contacted, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, special assistant to the prime minister, said that the amendment to the ATA was a subject of the interior ministry. He added the law would not introduce anything new, as it would basically ensure compliance to the UNSC Resolutions.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2018

https://www.dawn.com/news/1400320

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Chances of a major war ‘low but growing’: US

July 3, 2015

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Pentagon’s latest report singles out China, Russia, North Korea and Iran as threats, calling them ‘revisionist states’

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter

By Jeremy Au Yong
The Straits Times

United States defence chiefs have warned of a “low but growing” probability of a war with a major power – a stark prospect for Washington, given how it also noted that other militaries are closing the gap on the United States.

In its latest National Military Strategy report, released on Wednesday, the Pentagon singled out China, Russia, North Korea and Iran as particular threats, referring to the group as “revisionist states”.

The US military will shift some of its focus towards the security challenges posed by countries like Russia and China, it said, stressing that it needs to adapt its defence strategy to an increasingly uncertain global environment.

“Most states today – led by the US, its allies and partners – support established institutions and processes dedicated to preventing conflict, respecting sovereignty and furthering human rights.

“Some states, however, are attempting to revise key aspects of the international order and are acting in a manner that threatens our national security interests.”

The Pentagon added: “For the past decade, our military campaigns primarily have consisted of operations against violent extremist networks. But today, and into the foreseeable future, we must pay greater attention to challenges posed by state actors. They increasingly have the capability to contest regional freedom of movement and threaten our homeland.”

The increased emphasis on state actors in this year’s strategic report is a marked departure from previous documents.

The last National Military Strategy report in 2011 had focused heavily on terrorist groups, like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab and Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.

The report – which outlines the strategic environment and proposes a strategy to deal with it – is released roughly once every three or four years.

While this year’s report states that the US supports China’s rise, it also raises strong concerns about its actions in the South China Sea.

“The international community continues to call on China to settle such (maritime) issues cooperatively and without coercion. China has responded with aggressive land reclamation efforts that will allow it to position military forces astride vital international sea lanes,” said the Pentagon.

It similarly chided Russia for not respecting the sovereignty of its neighbours, and disregarding a slew of international agreements.

With the report emerging just days after negotiators had to extend the deadline on the Iran nuclear talks, the Pentagon made it clear that it is prepared to use force if a deal cannot be reached.

Said Defence Secretary Ashton Carter during a press briefing: “The basic facts have not changed recently. That is, we continue to have the tools to do (damage to Iran) and continue to maintain the military option, because the President has instructed us to, because his determination is that Iran (should) not have a nuclear weapon.”

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the current global disorder calls for more agility, innovation and integration on the part of the military.

He pointed out in the foreword to the report that there are no longer easy fights for the US military: “Since the last National Military Strategy was published in 2011, global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode… Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2015, with the headline ‘Chances of a major war ‘low but growing’
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