Pakistan has reportedly closed vital terror training bases, including over a dozen training camps near Jammu and Kashmir ahead of anti-terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) plenary meeting next week where Islamabad risks being blacklisted for non-compliance.
After India applied diplomatic pressure by reaching out to FATF member countries after the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 soldiers dead, Pakistan that was placed on the grey list in 2018 was expected to show that it has taken action on this front to avoid being blacklisted, which would have a devastating cascading effect on its already broken economy.
ET has learnt that in the last few weeks, 13 terror training camps of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been shut down. The shutdown seems to have had an early impact on cross-border terrorism with army sources saying that infiltration has ebbed.
The JeM, which claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack and saw most of its leadership in Kashmir being wiped out in operations since then, has lost its Shawai Nala camp in Muzaffarabad and the Kalch Samhanj and Garhon Jundla camps in Mirpur, according to sources.
Similarly, the LeT, which faced big reverses after a series of successful operations by counter-insurgency forces last year, have lost the Dollai and Sher Kot 1 camps in Muzaffarbad and the Fagosh camp in Mirpur.
India’s outreach to crack down on terror seems to have had a throttling impact on Pakistan, which sources said has charged cadres and financiers of groups that were focused on India, including the Falah-e-Insaniat, and frozen their assets since February this year.
While in the past, especially after the 26/11 attack and the parliament attack in 2001, Pakistan had attempted to show action against terror only to go back to its old ways, this time around the crackdown is largescale as FATF member nations will demand verifiable proof to ease the pressure. For the first time, almost all educational institutions, seminaries and even hospitals of terror organisations – believed to number over 800 – have been seized.