Wednesday, November 20, 2002

U.S. to Train Pakistanis to Help Bar Terrorist Funds

I suppose todays NYT's story with the above headline is a positive step to assist Pakistan in curbing terrorism within its borders. However, for it to succeed, I think there needs to be an overwhelming sentiment inside of Pakistan to actually end support to groups involved in acts of terrorism.

"American and Pakistani officials have identified 11 Pakistani-based groups thought to be involved in terrorist activities, and two-thirds of the organizations designated as having a terrorist link by the United States and the United Nations have a connection in Pakistan, according to the Treasury Department. The attacks that continue to plague Pakistan indicate the continued active presence of Al Qaeda in the country, American officials said. Charities have often been used as the way to transfer money to militant groups, officials say, and trading companies have also been used to launder and disburse money. But Pakistan still has no system to monitor the activities of foreign charities in Pakistan. Nor does the formal financial sector have the ability to spot and report suspicious movements of money to the government, according to the Treasury Department. Mr. O'Neill nevertheless praised Mr. Aziz's fiscal policy and his efforts to improve financial, banking and exchange systems in Pakistan and the Central Bank's efforts to educate banks in finding and confiscating dirty money. "

While it is of course in American interests to help stop al-Qaeda from re-forming, this too often comes across as the U.S. considering terrorism as evil, only when it affects the United States or American interests. These are sentiments found in an article in last Week's Washington Times (yes, the Washington TIMES), discussing Indian officials providing evidence to the Americans about continued Pakistani support to Kashmiri militant groups.


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