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Homeland Security

Pakistan Hails UN for Listing Jamaat-ul-Ahrar as Global Terrorist

By Ayaz Gul July 07, 2017

Pakistan has hailed a United Nations Security Council decision to declare the group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, or JuA, a global terrorist organization. The anti-state militant group has claimed responsibility for a majority of recent terrorist attacks in the country.

The group, which split from the outlawed Pakistani Taliban in 2014, is associated with Islamic State and operates out of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province as well as Pakistan's tribal border district of Mohmand, according to information posted on the U.N. website Thursday.

The designation subjects JuA to an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.

"Pakistan welcomes the listing of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar by the U.N. Security Council. … Pakistan had proposed this listing," said a Foreign Ministry statement Friday in Islamabad.

JuA has not yet commented on the U.N. decision.

The Pakistani government banned JuA last November following a series of attacks that killed dozens of people, including members of the minority Christian community.

Authorities maintain that militants fleeing security operations have found refuge in "ungoverned" Afghan border areas where they have joined with Islamic State and launch terrorist attacks against Pakistan.

Military officials allege the Afghan intelligence agency is backing JuA extremists in plotting the violence and cross-border raids on Pakistani security forces.

The group also took credit for last year's Easter suicide bombing in the city of Lahore that killed more than 70 people, including Christians and Muslims.

Kabul rejects allegations it harbors JuA and, in turn, blames Islamabad for sheltering Taliban insurgents and the dreaded Haqqani network involved in deadly attacks in Afghanistan.

In April, the Pakistani military announced the capture of Ehsanullah Ehsan, a central leader and JuA spokesman.

The detained militant, in a video confession, said the Afghan spy agency, with the support of Indian counterparts, harbored and used fugitive militants to orchestrate terrorist activities inside Pakistan.

Kabul and New Delhi rejected the accusations.

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