Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s unexpected acceptance that around “30,000 to 40,000” militants, trained in Afghanistan and Kashmir, are still actively operating in Pakistan, could become a serious issue for Islamabad with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Imran Khan said that his government had launched a “National Action Plan” against terrorism after the Peshawar school attack in December 2015, but its implementation began only after his PTI government came to power last year.
“Until we came into power, the governments did not have the will to [implement the National Action Plan], because if you talk of militant groups, they still have about 30,000-40,000 people who are armed and who have been trained in some sort of a theatre, who fought either in Afghanistan or maybe in Kashmir,”
Imran Khan speaking at the United States Institute of Peace acknowledgement that thousands of terrorists and training camps which have been active in Kashmir, still operate in Pakistan.
Experts talking to EurAsian Times said that India would be happily surprised by the rare admission of Islamabad that terror groups were operating from their soil and all the trouble in Kashmir has been fomented by Pakistan with the support their notorious army.
Khan’s statements contradict the Pakistan Army’s stance on the presence of terror groups in the country. The Pakistan army has consistently claimed that there were “no terrorist organisations” in the country post the FATF grey-listing.
“We are the first government who has now started disarming the militant groups; this is the first time it is happening. We have taken over their institutes, their seminaries and we have now got administrators there,” Khan stated
Pakistan could be “blacklisted” in October if it fails to comply with commitments on ending terrorism relating activities in the country. Many experts fear that with the admissions of 30-40,000 terrorist operating from Pakistan, Islamabad might have entrapped itself and would need to take concrete steps to evade FATF blacklisting.