Speaking at the ongoing Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi on Thursday, Britain’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Gareth Bayley said terror groups operating from Pakistan were a challenge to the country's government and also the entire South Asian region.
“It is absolutely clear that terrorist groups are operating from within Pakistan. They pose a serious challenge to the government of Pakistan and to South Asia's regional stability. Absolutely clear. So, what do you do about that? What you do about that if you are the UK is you engage, and you engage hard. You engage at every level, from the bottom to the very top. You engage regularly and you set out in terms, the importance of action against proxy groups, and against terrorism, and against extremism. And I know, very clearly, that the charges put that somehow the UK is close to Pakistan or too close to Pakistan, but it's just a simple matter of necessity. We have to be engaged with countries across South Asia, having robust conversations at all levels about what needs to happen and needs to happen urgently".
Participating in the panel discussion, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat said, terrorism would remain as long as states sponsor it, providing arms and ammunition to groups.
“A similar programme should be brought in like the US after 9/11, isolate the states which are funding the terror groups and one such way is blacklisting on FATF. There needs to be an international message and acceptability", suggested General Rawat.
Another panellist, Saad Mohseni, an Afghan-Australian businessman and entrepreneur, said radical Islam was on the rise and a lot more needed to be done.
“If they can target Qasem Soleimani, why can't they target a general living in Rawalpindi? In the global war on terror, the world seems to be on the retreat. Radical Islam is on the rise and a lot more needs to be done. If terrorists have sanctuaries and state sponsors, not only Pakistan, then the war on terror becomes more difficult", asked Mohseni.
New Delhi has been campaigning to put Islamabad on the "blacklist" after Pakistan-based Jaish-e Mohammad reportedly claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide attack on a convoy of troops in Pulwama, in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019 that killed 40 Indian soldiers.
A report by the Asia Pacific Group in October 2019 said, “With the exception of some recent actions discussed…., Pakistan has not taken sufficient measures to fully implement UNSCR 1267 obligations against all listed individuals and entities – especially those associated with Lashkar-eTayyiba (LeT)/Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) as well as the groups' leader Hafiz Saeed".
Pakistan submitted a compliance report on 3 December 2019, to showcase its efforts to change the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws to avoid the risk of being placed on a blacklist alongside Iran and North Korea by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).