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The US pressed Pakistan to work against providing safe havens to terror outfits in the country and act effectively against their fund-raising activities.

In yet another major global counter-terrorism move by the United States, the Donald Trump administration on Friday slapped sanctions on six Taliban and Haqqani leaders. The US has also pressed Pakistan to work against providing safe havens to terror outfits in the country and act effectively against their fund-raising activities.

The Haqqani network is blamed for carrying out several kidnapping and attacks on the United States interests in Afghanistan. The terror outfit is also accused of carrying out attacks on Indian interests in Afghanistan – including the 2008 blast of the Indian mission in Kabul, which claimed the lives of at least 58 people.

The fresh sanction slapped by the United States targets four Taliban leaders – Abdul Samad Sani, Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer, Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai and Maulawi Inayatullah, and two Haqqani leaders Faqir Muhammad and Gula Khan Hamidi.

While all the six militants are already designated as global terrorists by the US, the latest sanction will result in the blocking of all properties and interests in properties of the top terrorists. Furthermore, citizens of US will also be prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the six ‘global terrorists’.

Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence said, “We are targeting six individuals related to the Taliban or Haqqani network who have been involved in attacks on coalition troops, smuggling of individuals, or financing these terrorist groups.”

Further stating that the action supports US President Donald Trump’s South Asia Strategy by disrupting terror outfits, Mandelker said, “The Pakistani government must work with us to deny the Taliban and the Haqqani network sanctuary and to aggressively target their terrorist fund raising.”

The latest US action came days after Trump, in his first tweet of 2018, accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit” and of fooling the United States by taking no major action against terrorism in its soil.

Earlier in January this year, the Trump administration took a major step to suspend all security assistance to Islamabad. Pakistan has been receiving the US funds – which amounts to more than $1.15 billion – for years. The suspended amount by the US administration includes major funds – like USD 255 million in Foreign Military Funding (FMF) for the fiscal year 2016 and the entire USD 900 million of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) money to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017.

Days after Trump’s suspension of security assistance, Pakistan on January 6 listed 72 banned groups and stated that those providing funds to the alleged terror organizations will be facing 10 years of imprisonment, along with a hefty fine.

In an Urdu advertisement – which was published in almost all major newspapers in Pakistan – Islamabad mentioned the names of 72 alleged terror outfits – which also includes Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

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