Laden link to HuM shows Pakistan must do more to fight terrorism
(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)
New information revealing a Kashmir-focused militant group with links to Pakistani intelligence helped shield Osama bin Laden demonstrates the U.S. must press Pakistani authorities to take a more comprehensive approach to fighting terrorism.
Pakistan has long sought to distinguish between Kashmir-focused groups it allows to openly function in Pakistani society and al-Qaeda. However, the revelations about contacts between members of Harakat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and Osama bin Laden show Pakistan’s segmented approach to terrorism has failed miserably and contributed to the ability of the world’s most wanted terrorist to live undetected in a military town in the heart of Pakistan.
The U.S. must insist that Pakistan detain the leader of HuM, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, and any of his colleagues that have had contact with al-Qaeda and provide U.S. officials access to these individuals for questioning.
It is clear that Kashmir-focused militant groups like HuM and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, are part of al-Qaeda’s broader militant network and thus facilitate al-Qaeda’s targeting of the U.S. and other countries.
It is time the Pakistan leadership pursue these terrorists and demonstrate they will no longer be able to operate freely within Pakistani society.