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Pakistan Insurgencies - Deobandi

The Minister of Interior provided a list of 61 designated organizations in his 18 December 2015 brief to the Pakistani National Assembly, which various media outlets reported. Until that point, the government had only distributed updates to lists of individuals and groups designated pursuant to UNSCRs and domestic law via gazette notices (‘statutory regulatory orders’ and circulars). The sole use of that vehicle resulted in significant confusion and speculation among the public regarding which entities were and were not designated and/or under observation. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on 11 February 2015 directed Secretary Interior Shahid Khan to coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reconcile a ‘national list’ of proscribed organisations as per the blacklist of the United Nations. Nisar gave the directive in a meeting which met to review progress on the National Action Plan (NAP) for countering militancy and extremism.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan, banks were required to regularly access the Consolidated Lists from the pertinent UN website(s) to ensure compliance with sanctions regimes throughout 2015. The minister also said in the current year 1,113 incidents of terrorism took place in the country while 637 terrorists were killed and 710 arrested. The minister said the banned organisations are watched to prevent them from resurfacing under different names and the provinces have been asked not to allow banned outfits to come up.

Tricia Bacon, Assistant Professor at American University, testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on July 12, 2016 that " Pakistani military and civilian leaders repeated their pledge to cease the dual track policy of viewing some terrorists as having utility and seeing others as posing a threat. However, in fact, the opposite has occurred; those distinctions have hardened and grown resistant to change instead. Most importantly, the calculus of the primary institution in Pakistan that wields power over these policies remains unwavering: the Pakistani Army. Thus, it appears that there is no terrorist attack in Pakistan large enough to persuade the security establishment to abdicate the so-called “good militants.” By “good militants” I mean those groups that the Pakistani security establishment sees as having utility....

"Pakistan faces a resilient threat from the likes of the Pakistani Taliban, Lashkar-eJhangvi, al-Qaida, and others. Its effectiveness in dealing with these threats has been and will continue to be seriously hampered by its false dichotomization of “good militants” and “bad militants”; its vacillation between appeasement and scorched earth tactics; and its self-serving and erroneous focus on external actors as the source of its internal threat.... Deobandi militant groups allied with the Pakistani state, specifically Jaish-e-Mohamed, the Afghan Taliban, and the Haqqani Network, collaborate extensively with groups hostile to the Pakistani state, including the Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. In addition, al-Qaida, though not Deobandi, is fully integrated into this militant network and works closely with these groups as well."

Numerous violent extremist groups, many of which target Pakistani civilians, officials, or members of other religious sects, operated in the country. In 2015, terrorists used both stationary and vehicle-borne remote-controlled IEDs (VBIEDs); suicide bombings; targeted assassinations; rocket-propelled grenades; and other combat tactics to attack individuals, schools, markets, government institutions, mosques, and other places of worship. Attacks by sectarian groups against minorities continued. Despite the government’s massive security preparations, its interception of numerous planned attacks, and the prevention of attacks in major urban areas, the commemoration of the Ashura holiday during the Islamic month of Muharram (October 2015) was marked by two major attacks that killed at least 30 people.

Despite military and police action against certain UN-designated organizations, throughout 2015 other UN-designated organizations continued to operate within Pakistan, employing economic resources under their control, and fundraising openly. The November 2015 ban of electronic media coverage of domestically banned organizations and UN-designated organizations may reduce the public profiles of those organizations and reduce their ability to collect donations. Money transfer systems persisted throughout much of Pakistan, especially along Pakistan’s long border with Afghanistan, and may be abused by drug traffickers and terrorist financiers operating in the cross-border area. Pakistan continued to implement the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997, and other laws, which empowered the government to counter terrorism with enhanced law enforcement and prosecutorial powers. The country is in various stages of implementation of the National Counterterrorism Authority Act, the 2013 Investigation for Fair Trial Act, the 2014 amendments to the ATA, and the 2014 Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA). The PPA has a sunset clause of July 2016. The government continued to make use of reinforced counterterrorism legislation. However, the judiciary moved slowly in processing terrorism and other criminal cases, likely due in part to the overly broad definition of terrorism offenses listed in the ATA. The majority of courts face long backlogs. In addition, law enforcement personnel and judicial officers involved in terrorism cases can face threats and intimidation from terrorist groups. In some provinces, Anti-Terrorism Courts have introduced reforms to reduce the backlogs, including transferring “non-true” terrorism cases to the regular District and Sessions courts, freeing the courts to conduct continuous trials within the timeframe required by the ATA.

The PPA, passed in July of 2014, sought to create a specialized system for adjudicating terrorism cases by establishing a federally empowered infrastructure with special federal courts, prosecutors, police stations, and investigation teams for the enforcement of 20 specially-delineated categories of offenses. Human rights advocates and other legal experts criticized the PPA for provisions granting broad immunity to security forces in the use of lethal force, expanding the power of arrest without a warrant, and eliminating the presumption of innocence. The provisions of the PPA, including the creation of new judicial infrastructure, have been only sporadically implemented in 2015 and the Act is set to expire in July 2016.

In response to the December 2014 Army Public School attack, Pakistan promulgated new legislation in 2015 designed to enable the prompt prosecution and adjudication of terrorism offenses. In January, the Assembly passed the 21st Amendment of the Pakistani Constitution and amended the Pakistan Army Act to allow military courts to try civilians for “offenses relating to terrorism, waging of war or insurrection against Pakistan, and prevention of acts threatening the security of Pakistan by any terrorist group using the name of religion or a sect and members of such armed groups, wings, and militia.” In February, the government issued a presidential ordinance that amended the Pakistan Army Act to allow military courts to hold in-camera trials of terrorism suspects and to conceal the names of court officials involved in those trials, as part of a move toward “faceless justice” for “the protection of witnesses, defending officers, and other persons concerned in court proceedings.” The National Assembly subsequently passed a bill codifying this presidential ordinance in November. After a series of legal challenges, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the 21st Amendment in August. Both the 21st Amendment and the Amendment to the Pakistan Army Act contain sunset clauses, which provide for their expiration two years from the date of enactment.

At the federal level, Pakistan’s law enforcement and national security structures need improvement. Although the various security agencies attempted to detect, deter, and respond to terrorist incidents, the government’s institutional framework is not conducive to interagency cooperation and coordination. There was only sporadic interagency information sharing, no comprehensive integrated database capability, and specialized law enforcement units lacked the technical equipment and training needed to implement the enhanced investigative powers provided in the 2012 Investigation for Fair Trial Act. Prosecutors have a limited role during the investigation phases of terrorism cases. Jurisdictional divisions among and between military and civilian security agencies continued to hamper effective investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases. Intimidation by terrorists against witnesses, police, victims, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges, as well as insufficient evidence gathering in investigations, contributed to the high acquittal rate in cases filed in the Anti-Terrorism Courts.

Devolution of law enforcement authority to the provincial level resulted in mixed assessments of law enforcement cooperation across the country. Counterterrorism operations were most often the result of varying degrees of cooperation between provincial Counterterrorism Departments (which reported to their respective Inspectors General for Police), assorted paramilitary entities (e.g., Frontier Corps, Rangers, Levies, etc.), the Pakistani military, and intelligence agencies. Some provinces demonstrated greater training, equipment, and interagency information sharing to find suspected terrorists, but needed improvement in their prosecution of suspected terrorists once apprehended. For others, the reverse applied. In Sindh, a “law-and-order” operation against terrorists and organized crime syndicates, carried out by the paramilitary Sindh Rangers and the civilian Sindh Police, continued throughout 2015. Many analysts attributed to that operation the significant reduction in violence over 2015 that the provincial capital has witnessed. Media reported allegations that operations focused disproportionately on certain political parties with a political rather than counterterrorism focus. The government denied those allegations. In December, the Sindh provincial government extended the mandate of the Sindh Rangers for 60 days, but the limits of their authority remain under discussion between the federal and provincial government.

Pakistan continued to work toward structural reforms on counterterrorism designed to centralize coordination and information sharing. The National Counterterrorism Authority (NACTA) received new leadership in August. Its new National Coordinator was concurrently the Director General of the National Police Bureau at the end of 2015. In November, NACTA was reportedly allocated an operational budget with which to hire additional staff for the first time since the NAP called for the organization to be “strengthened and activated.” The Intelligence Bureau has nationwide jurisdiction as a civilian agency, is empowered to coordinate with provincial and territorial counterterrorism units, and seemed to take a more active role in counterterrorism operations throughout 2015. The Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate has broad intelligence powers and fulfilled a de facto border security role along with tribal militias, provincial police, and the Frontier Corps. The Ministry of Interior has more than 10 law enforcement-related entities under its administration, though many of those agencies are under the operational control of the military.

  1. Daesh
  2. Balochistan Republican Army
  3. Jaish-e-Muhammad
  4. Lashkar Balochistan
  5. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
  6. Sipah-e-Muhammed Pakistan
  7. Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan
  8. Tehreek-e-Jafria Pakistan
  9. Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammed
  10. Tehreek-e-Islami

 



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