In an attempt seen to disrupt their leadership and fund-raising networks, the United States has imposed sanctions on Pakistan-based extremists and an organisation run by Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) group.
The sanctions have been slapped to disrupt the funding of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its front for charitable activities, the JuD, the Taliban, Jamaat-ul-Dawa al-Qu'ran (JDQ), the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and ISIS-Khorasan.
Khorasan is a historical region comprising a vast territory covering northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, and northern Afghanistan and parts of India.
The sanctions in particular have been imposed against Hayatullah Ghulam Muhammad (Haji Hayatullah), Ali Muhammad Abu Turab, Inayat-ur Rahman, and a purported charity managed by Inayat-ur Rahman, the Welfare and Development Organization of Jamaat-ud-Dawah for Quran and Sunnah (WDO).
"These sanctions seek to disrupt the financial support networks of terrorists based in Pakistan who have provided support to the Taliban, al-Qaida, ISIS, and LeT for recruitment and funding of suicide bombers and other violent insurgent operations," John Smith, director of treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), said.
"The US continues to aggressively target extremists in Pakistan and the surrounding region, including charities and other front groups used as vehicles to facilitate terrorist activities," Smith added.
"The three individuals and (an) entity we designated have connections with terrorist groups that are a direct threat to the security of both the United States and Pakistan," he further said.
"The individuals are opportunistic and willing to work with extremist organizations, even those ideologically opposed to one another, to help them deepen their foothold in the region," Smith opined.
OFAC said that they designated Hayatullah for acting on behalf of JDQ and LeT, and for providing material and financial support to the Taliban, al-Qaida, ISIS, and ISIS-Khorasan.
Abu Turab invited sanctions for providing material and financial support to JDQ. Last year, he facilitated movement of thousands of dollars from the Gulf to Pakistan.
Inayat-ur Rahman has been slapped with sanctions for acting for JDQ and the Taliban, and for providing material and financial support to LeT and the Taliban. A long-time leader of JDQ, he worked directly for Haji Hayatullah.
OFAC designated the WDO for being controlled by Inayat-ur Rahman. As of 2015, he was the director, chairman, and president of WDO.
‘Pak to be blamed for growing tension with India’
The US also slammed Pakistan for deteriorating its relationship with India, saying ‘tension might increase in the face of another high- profile terrorist attack from across the border this year’.
"Islamabad's failure to curb support to anti-India militants and New Delhi's growing intolerance of this policy, coupled with a perceived lack of progress in Pakistan's investigations into the January 2016 Pathankot cross-border attack, set the stage for a deterioration of bilateral relations in 2016," Daniel Coats, director of National Intelligence, told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing.