US report says Pak harbouring terror; UN urges members to ‘live up’ to rules

The report said Pakistan took "modest steps" in 2019 to counter terror financing following the Pulwama attack in February, but it remained a "safe harbor" for regionally focused terrorist groups

A scene of the spot after militants attacked a CRPF convoy in Goripora area of Awantipora town in Pulwama district on February 14, 2019. PTI

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, expects all member states to “live up” to their obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions, his spokesperson has said, after a US report noted that Pakistan remains a safe haven for terrorists as it did not take actions against JeM founder Masood Azhar.

The US State Department, in its Congressional-mandated 2019 Country Reports on Terrorism on Wednesday (June 24), said Pakistan remained a “safe harbor” for regionally-focused terrorist groups and that the suspension of US aid to the country remained in effect throughout 2019.

Stéphane Dujarric, responding to a question during his daily press briefing, said while he will not comment on the report issued by the US State Department, “Obviously, as a matter of principle, we do expect all member states to live up to their obligations as laid out in any relevant Security Council resolution or Security Council decision.”

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The report said Pakistan took “modest steps” in 2019 to counter terror financing and restrain India-focused militant groups from conducting large-scale attacks following the Pulwama attack in February, but it remained a “safe harbor” for regionally focused terrorist groups.

It further said that Pakistan took action against some externally focused groups, including Lashkar e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed but did not take action against Jaish-e-Mohammed founder and UN-designated terrorist Azhar and 2008 Mumbai attack project manager Sajid Mir, both of whom are believed to remain free in Pakistan.

The UN 1267 Sanctions Committee designated Azhar as a global terrorist in May last year, slapping an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on him, 10 years after India’s first move to have him blacklisted at the UN.

Following the designation, the State Department said that the designation is an important step in promoting a peaceful and stable South Asia. The US designated Azhar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2010.

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