US wary of little action against Pak Punjab based terror groups

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Washington, May 9 (ANI): The United States is concerned over little action against Pakistan's Punjab province based militant groups, who have close links with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and purportedly helped Faisal Shahzad, the failed New York bomber.

US officials are almost certain that Shahzad received regular guidance from the Taliban and had links with other terror groups like the Jaish-e-Muhammed, the banned terror groups that had mainly targeted India in the past.

Officials privy to the failed Times Square bombing said Shahzad's connection with the Taliban was 'regular' and 'substantial', but Pakistani officials believe that the Taliban kept him at arms length out of fear he was an American intelligence agent.

The ABC News quoted a US official as saying that there are indications that JeM had serve as Shahzad's entry point to the Taliban, which is a cause of some serious concerns as it shows that Pakistan's disparate terror groups are now combining their forces.

Another American official underlined that while Islamabad has taken some measures against the Taliban, more is to be done to quell the extremists completely but there has been virtually no action against organisations like the JeM.

"Look, what we're going to say is what we've been saying all along: progress has been made, but there's a lot more work to be done. The Pakistani Taliban are nowhere near what they were last year. But there still hasn't been a crackdown on the Punjabi groups. We will have a discussion about that," the official said.

Experts also believe that both Pakistan and the US cannot remain oblivious to the fact that besides the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, other smaller terror groups also poses the same level of threat.

"The Pakistani Taliban and others in Pakistan that have grown closer to Al-Qaeda are a real threat to the United States and to the West in general going forward," Brian Fishman, a research fellow at West Point's Combating Terrorism Center and a fellow at the New America Foundation said.

"We can't just focus on Al-Qaeda any more. There is an entire milieu of groups," he added. (ANI)

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