The United States has added the Pakistani militant group Jamaat-ur-Ahrar — a small faction of the Pakistani Taliban — to their global terrorist list, the Us State Department announced this Wednesday, August 3.
A set of sanctions will reportedly be issued against the faction that has planned and executed multiple attacks on religious minorities, civilians and soldiers. The sanctions could include freezing United States assets to any person or entity supporting the group.
At least five major attacks in Pakistan have been carried out by the group since last December, including the Easter Sunday bombing that killed 70 people in Lahore, Pakistan.
The group has also claimed responsibility for the March killing of two Pakistani employees at the United States Consulate in Peshawar.
The Pakistani government reportedly supports the decision.
“Pakistan has long pleaded that we take concrete action against the TTP and their like who operate in Afghanistan,” Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said, “and they have planned and launched a number of attacks in Pakistan while operating from there.”
Pakistani and Afghan Taliban have been fighting to install a strict interpretation of Islamic Law by overturning the Islamabad government.
Pakistan has said multiple times that the militants fighting for this “cause” operate out of Afghanistan, while the Afghan government says the militants are operating out of Pakistan.
In recent years, Pakistan has tried to crack down on their movements, especially those targeting citizens. It has launched a paramilitary crack down in Punjab, the country’s wealthiest and most populous province.
Jamaat-ur-Ahrar was reportedly considered more dangerous by officials after having sworn their loyalty to the Islamic State’s leadership in the Middle East.