US sceptical over Pak taking action against India centric group involved in NY bomb plot

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Washington, May 7 (ANI): Confessed Times Square bomb plotter Faisal Shahzad's probable links with terror groups operating mainly from Pakistan's Punjab province and having India on top of their terror hit list, may hinder the investigations into the plot, with US officials unsure over whether Pak will take any action against these India centric terror groups.

US officials are sceptical over whether Pakistan would take any action against these rogue elements, as despite them being banned by the government, many outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) continue to operate freely under proxy names.

Some elements in Pakistan's security establishment continue to view such 'banned' terror groups as assets against India, and politicians in Punjab offer them open political support, a report in The Washington Post said.

"It is uncertain whether Pakistan would take aggressive action against the organizations, even if they are found to be definitively connected to the Times Square bombing attempt," it added.

Experts also opine that there is little chance of Islamabad taking any stringent measure against these India focussed 'jihad' groups, as there never have been any such action in the past.

"There's never been any clampdown on any of these groups that were fighting in Kashmir. That's not just Lashkar, it's everyone. That's a problem," said noted Pakistani analyst and writer Ahmed Rashid.

As state support for anti-India militant groups has waned, the aims of the Pakistani Taliban and the Kashmir-oriented groups have increasingly converged. Militant groups of various stripes have intermingled, and Punjabi fighters have become valuable bridges between Pakistan's mainland and the rugged tribal region, the newspaper noted.

Earlier, this week, a prominent JeM leader, Mohammed Rehan, was arrested by Pakistani agencies, who officials believe could be Shehzad's possible 'motivator'.

As many as 30 persons have been detained by Pakistani agencies in connection with the New York bombing plot on Thursday, and all belong to LeT, JeM and banned sectarian group like the Sipah-e-Sahaba, officials said.

However, both Pakistani and US officials differ over links between Shahzad and any militant organisation. US officials maintain that the evidence clearly points towards a Taliban link in the New York terror plot, while Pakistan has said that it was unlikely that the Taliban was involved . (ANI)

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