Source: The Hitavada      Date: 18 Aug 2017 11:25:05

WITH China constantly vetoing any move by the United Nations Security Council to designate Pakistani terror mastermind Azhar Masood as the global terrorist, the decision of the United States to declare Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen as a “foreign terrorist organisation,” is a welcome news for India. The decision also deals a huge blow to Pakistan, on the one hand, and to the biggest terror outfit operating in Kashmir from the Pakistani soil, on the other.

It is also a lesson to China that if it continues to support organisations that cause disturbances in other countries they will be dealt with severely and in a cooperative manner. The US ban on the Hizbul comes barely two months after that country declaring the head of the organisation Sayed Salahuddin as the global terrorist.

Thus the message from the United States is loud and clear to both Pakistan and China: The international community would no longer remain a silent spectator to the machinations of nations that patronise terror.

The US action buttresses India’s case against various other terrorist organisations like the Lashkar-e-Toiba. These organisations too require similar action by the international community at large.

It is time that the entire international community join hands to ostracise those who patronise terror as a tool to cause destabilisation and destruction in neighbouring countries. India and Afghanistan have been suffering heavily because of the policy followed by the Pakistani Government. In the last couple of years the Hizbul and Lashkar-e-Toiba have been particularly relentless in carrying out disruptive activities in Kashmir. This probably forced the US decision to impose sanctions on the Hizbul.

The sanctions by the US Government against the Hizbul would put a freeze on its sources of funding, especially those which have the US jurisdiction, and empowering US authorities to seize properties belonging to the terror organisation. There will also be ban on the US citizens having any links with that organisation. The order also empowers US agencies to take action against the terror organisation. Thus the sanctions are comprehensive and could cripple the sources of funding.

Pakistan has been projecting the Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest and the oldest militant organisation operating in Kashmir, as the true voice of the Kashmiri people. When Hizbul’s Kashmiri commander Burhan Wani was killed by Indian security forces Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described him as the martyr. This makes it very clear who the real patrons are of the terror network that operates from the Pakistan side.

It is in view of this that the United States administration blocked financial aid to Pakistan a few days ago. By the latest action the United States has made it known that it understands India’s concerns over the issue of terrorism sponsored by Pakistan and has shown willingness to take whatever steps it can to deal with the situation.

Simultaneously the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been taking steps to choke the money supply to the Kashmir-based terror outfits which Pakistan has been doing through the hawala route and has put behind bars several prominent separatist leaders in the last few days. Such an all-round crackdown on the terror outfits was very necessary to deal a crippling blow to the separatist elements.

Just as the United States has blocked the release of funds to Pakistan for its support to terrorist activities, it is necessary that the entire international community takes a collective action and isolate Pakistan for indulging in a dangerous game as Pakistan has emerged as one of the major breeding ground for terror in the world.