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'LeT trying to escalate Indo-Pak tensions'

July 15, 2009 11:26 IST
Lashkar-e-Taiba is still active and trying its best to increase the tension between India and Pakistan, a top United Nations official mandated to monitor the Security Council sanctions against Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other terrorist groups said on Wednesday.

LeT, which is responsible for holding a series of terrorist attacks in India including the Mumbai terror strikes, has been declared as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations Security Council.

"Lashkar-e-Tayiba's tactics are quite obvious. It is trying to increase tensions between India and Pakistan at a time when they and their associates are particularly under pressure in western Pakistan," said Richard Barrett, Coordinator of the UN Security Council's Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Committee.

"They may do that again," Barrett said, adding that this is the real risk.

Barrett along with chairman of the Security Council's Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee, Thomas Mayr-Harting, the Austrian ambassador, addressed a joint press conference at the UN headquarters in New York.

Barrett said several LeT attacks have taken place in Lahore, which is hardly in the tribal areas, and even Pakistani soldiers in Kashmir had been attacked.

"I think, these groups are real concern to Pakistan," he said, adding the LeT is also having operational links with the Taliban.

Responding to a question on Taliban activities in the border areas between Afghanistan and Iran, Barrett said that, despite reports of Al-Qaeda activities in that area, there has been no confirmed links that could result in the listing of individuals.

However, efforts are being made to list some individuals involved in the drug trade for financing the Taliban. The drug trade is being carried out in the area bordering Iran, he said.

Asked about the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in China, he said it was on the Consolidated List, and was a source of particular concern owing to its links with Al-Qaeda in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area, where it was very well established.

Members of the movement appeared to move towards northern Afghanistan, he said.

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