19
Mon, Nov

US Welcomes Pakistan Plan to Ban 12 Outfits Including Haqqani Network

Afghanistan
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white-houseThe United States has welcomed the reports that Pakistan plans to outlaw Haqqani Network and 11 other groups accused of carrying out terrorist attacks in the country.

"We welcome the reports that the Government of Pakistan plans to outlaw the Haqqani Network, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, and I think about 10 other organizations linked to violent extremism," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, told reporters.

Sources close to Pakistan authorities have told the country's Express Tribune that the announcement will be made by Pakistani government in "coming days", a move apparently illustrating Pakistan's seriousness in combating terrorism after the Peshawar school massacre.

"If they go forward with this, it is an important step, certainly, towards eliminating terrorist activity in Pakistan," Harf said.

The Pakistani newspaper noted that the decision was made after the U.S. State Department declared Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist."

Fazlullah claimed responsibility for the Peshawar attack in which over 150 school students and teachers were killed on 16 December after the armed suicide bombers stormed an Army-run school in Peshawar city.

Following this attack, Pakistan also lifted ban on executions. A total of 18 convicts have been hanged so far in the country.

During his recent visit of Pakistan, U.S. State Secretary John Kerry also called upon Islamabad to target all militant groups without discrimination.

Furthermore in a latest move, Pakistan has also decided to strictly monitor religious schools (Madrasa) where a large number of militants possibly exist and receive training.

The move, which is approved by the country's Parliament to monitor the financial sources of Madrasas and their activities, has sparked criticisms of the students of these seminaries.