The US State Department was concerned about the terrorist-charities increasingly taking over the functions that should ideally be carried out by the Pakistani government.
In a cable written on 30 December 2009, the US State Department urged the US ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson to convey its worries over the development to the local government.
Interesingly, soon after the warning, Pakistani government was reduced to an ‘onlooker status’ in many parts of the country as Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD), the political arm of the Lashkar e Toiba, carried out most of the relief and humanitarian activities to save lifes during the July 2010 floods.
JuD and other terror-cum-charity organizations won the hearts and minds of many Pakistanis thanks to their large network of volunteers who rose to the challenge of saving thousands of their countrymen from perishing in one of the worst calamities faced by the country.
However, the US wanted its ambassador to point out that the Pakistani government will find itself redundant and irrelevant if it leaves crucial functions such as providing calamity relief to terror-charities.
“We emphasize that social services provided by NGO extremist organizations, such as Jamaat-ud Dawa (JUD) challenge the legitimacy of your government to provide for its people. This includes relief efforts in the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps of the Northwest Frontier Provinces by the new LeT/JUD charity Falah-e Insaniyat Foundation,” it pointed out.
In the cable, the US pointed out that though the organizations are charities and humanitarians at home, outside the country, their activities were anything but charitable. It also noted that many people in the Government circles and defence circles continue to support these terror-charities in spite of a policy that sought to distance the government from the groups.
The groups were created as part of a CIA-ISI initiative in the late 1980s to defeat the Soviet Union troops in Afghanistan, but soon got out of hand and attacked the US itself.
“..some officials from the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) continue to maintain ties with a wide array of extremist organizations, in particular the Taliban, LeT and other extremist organizations. These extremist organizations continue to find refuge in Pakistan and exploit Pakistan’s extensive network of charities, NGOs, and madrassas. This network of social service institutions readily provides extremist organizations with recruits, funding and infrastructure for planning new attacks,” the cable noted.
It also pointed out to the ambassador that Pakistan has sought to block moves to ban Pakistan-based terror grouops by using its influence with China — a permanent representative on the UN Security Council.
“China recently placed a technical hold on the designation of three Pakistan-based or affiliated terrorists nominated by India, although China did not prevent the most recent Pakistan-related U.S. designation nomination in June,” it noted.