Summary of The Big Picture - RSTV: U.S designates Hizbul Mujahideen a terror organization

UPSC Exam Preparation: Summary of The Big Picture – RSTV: U.S designates Hizbul Mujahideen a terror organization.

Aug 17, 2017 

Background

  • The U.S administration has designated Pakistan based organization Hizbul Mujahideen as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Earlier in June, 2017, the U.S had designated Hizbul’s chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist. This organization is responsible for terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir for the last three decades.
  • The labeling of Hizbul as a FTO means that the organization will face financial sanctions.
  • Financial sanctions means all the properties, finances and other assets owned directly or indirectly by Hizbul within the U.S jurisdiction will be confiscated and all U.S nationals will be barred from having any kind of transaction/dealings with Hizbul Mujahideen.
  • This announcement is seen as a sign of growing U.S- India proximity on strategic issues.

 

Analysis

  • Every country in the U.N.O has spoken about opposing terrorism, being united in the fight against terrorism and taking steps necessary to stop terrorist activities anywhere in the world. Hence, designating Hizbul as a FTO is a step in the right direction.
  • This was a long overdue step as Hizbul Mujahideen was established in 1989.
  • The move by the U.S also indicates gradual distancing between U.S and Pakistan and greater strategic synergy between U.S and India.
  • S has historically been hesitant to recognize a group whose activities affect only a particular region like South-Asia as an international terrorist organization.
  • But the designation of Hizbul Mujahideen as a FTO by the U.S comes as a shot in the arm to India’s fight against Pakistan sponsored terror in particular and terrorism in general.
  • However, financial sanctions alone have not been very successful on the ground in controlling the activities of Pakistan based terror outfits.
  • Lashkar-E-Tayyiba and Jaish E Mohammed, two anti-India outfits based in Pakistan, have been designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
  • But when it comes to travelling and holding rallies, both, Hafeez Saeed and Masood Azhar does not face much of restrictions.
  • The U.S has also been hesitant to take direct actions /direct targeting of these groups as compared to the direct actions it has taken against groups like Taliban, Therik-I-Taliban Pakistan and Haqqani network.
  • There are instances of various organizations like the banned Jamaat-ud Dawa changing its name to evade the crackdown on it by resurfacing as Tehreek Azadi Jammu.
  • Financial transactions of Hizbul Mjahideen through the U.S are just a miniscule part of its overall transactions and there are various other countries through which money is routed to Hizbul’s account.

 

Conclusion

  • Financial sanctions are a welcome move, but to alter the dynamics of terrorism, more comprehensive steps from all the stake-holders is necessary.
  • There is an urgent need to ensure that Pakistan takes earnest steps against the terror outfits operating from its soil. Because, unless the willingness of Pakistan, it will be difficult to fight against terrorism from the outside.

 

UPSC Mains Practice Question
  1. Discuss the efficacy of one-dimensional step like Financial sanctions in fighting terrorism.

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