LAHORE: Pakistan and China should not create hurdles in designating JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, a leading Pakistani daily said Monday, emphasising the need to crackdown hard on terror groups in the country as it will help Islamabad regain the respect of the international community.
The Dawn newspaper in an editorial said that there are no “good” or “bad” militants groups and all have either caused or are capable of wreaking havoc in the country.
“That outlook is hopefully a thing of the past now, as the prime minister (Imran Khan) has promised that no groups will be allowed to use Pakistani territory for militant activities.
“He must make good on that pledge. This is the only way Pakistan will regain the respect of the international community, and counter India’s constant campaign to isolate it,” it said.
“Most (of the terror groups) have been banned but much more is required to ensure that they are eliminated and never come back to life. If the world wants to blacklist Masood Azhar, there should be no hesitation on Pakistan’s part. Neither should China use ?technical reasons’ to block such a move,” the daily said.
China for the fourth time blocked a bid in the United Nations (UN) Security Council last week to designate the Pakistan-based chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed as a “global terrorist” by putting a technical hold on the proposal, a move India termed as disappointing.
The JeM has claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead and raised tensions between India and Pakistan.
The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27.
The daily said while India has been “thirsting for revenge” in the post-Pulwama period, its efforts to blacklist the Jaish and its chief are not altogether altruistic.”
The paper said despite India’s efforts to portray Pakistan as a hub of jihadi activity, there is still a case to be made for the country to clamp down further on the Jaish and others of its ilk – for its own security.
“The dangers of the path adopted by the Jaish are clear. Azhar’s aim was to blur the distinction between pro-Kashmir jihadi groups and those subscribing to sectarian militancy within Pakistan.”
When Gen (Pervez) Musharraf proscribed the Jaish, he was targeted by the group, barely escaping two attempts on his life. The attempt to rein in the Jaish’s activities caused a large section of the group to join hands with the TTP to attack the state and religious minorities.
It said that stern action is necessary against all militants – whether they were allegedly using Pakistani soil to plan attacks outside the country, or killing and maiming thousands within the country.
The daily said that Pakistan should have learnt a lesson from the Americans who encouraged jihadi elements in Afghanistan, “only to be confronted by a monster of their own creation in later years”.