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Brand Lashkar, Jaish terrorist groups: Ashcroft

Brand Lashkar, Jaish terrorist groups: Ashcroft

Author: PTI
Publication: Rediff on  Net
Date: November 2, 2001

United States Attorney General John Ashcroft has recommended to the State Department the formal branding of Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and several other outfits, whose finances have been frozen by the Bush administration, as 'terrorist organisations'.

The Rabita Trust of Lahore, alleged to be a front for fund raising for terrorists, and of which Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was a board member, is among the outfits recommended for branding as a terrorist organisation.

Designating the Jaish and Lashkar as terrorist organisations is a long-standing demand of India, so far resisted by the State Department, which has, instead, placed them in the category of 'Other Terrorist Groups'.

The US froze the finances of these outfits in the aftermath of terror strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Ashcroft, America's chief law enforcer, said in a communication to Secretary of State Colin Powell: "I hereby request that you designate as terrorist organisations certain groups that the President has identified in the Executive Order. The Executive Order finds these organisations commit, or provide material support for, terrorist acts, and thus satisfies the statutory predicate for your designation."

"In addition, I request that you designate as terrorist organisations certain groups that you jointly identified with the Secretary of the Treasury. I also request that you to designate as terrorist organisations certain groups identified in the Department of State's Patterns of Global Terrorism report, published in April 2001. Patterns of Global Terrorism reports that each of the named groups has undertaken at least one terrorist attack," Ashcroft said.

Meanwhile, India welcomed Ashcroft's decision to recommend banning Lashkar and Jaish.

Welcoming the decision, Minister of State for Home I D Swami said, "It is a good development that they have realised the issue of cross-border terrorism, though late."

"This is an indication that other countries are realising what India and our prime minister have always been saying about cross-border terrorism being a threat to world peace," he said, adding that all nations should get together to fight the menace.
 


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