The FINANCIAL -- The United States has designated three Pakistani-based militants as "global terrorists," as Washington heaps pressure on Islamabad to crack down on militants.
The U.S. Treasury Department said on February 7 it had placed Rahman Zeb Faqir Muhammad, Hizb Ullah Astam Khan, and Dilawar Khan Nadir Khan on its blacklist of "Specially Designated Global Terrorists" for links to Pakistani-based militant groups, including the Afghan Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Lashkar-e Taiba.
A statement said the three men were involved in providing financial and logistical support, explosives, and technological aid to the three extremist groups.
"Treasury continues to aggressively pursue and expose radicals who support terrorist organizations and run illicit financial networks across South Asia," said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
"We call on the Pakistani government and others in the region to work with us to deny sanctuary to these dangerous individuals and organizations,” he added.
The announcement comes two weeks after the United States blacklisted six people accused of supporting the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, which is based in Pakistan and allied with the Taliban, according to RFE/RL.
Muhammad is alleged to have collected funds for Lashkar-e Taiba in the Persian Gulf and to have been a longtime contact for members of the militant group involved in Afghan operations.
The other two are accused of acting on behalf of Shaikh Aminullah, who was blacklisted in 2009 for providing material support to Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban.
The United States alleges that Aminullah turned a religious school in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar into a training and recruiting base used by Al-Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Early last month, the U.S. government announced it was suspending security assistance to the Pakistani military until it took "decisive action" against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network that are operating in neighboring Afghanistan. U.S. officials said the freeze could affect $2 billion worth of assistance.
Addressing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the State Department's No. 2 official said on February 6 that Washington intends to "hold Pakistan accountable for its failure to deny sanctuary to militant proxies."
"We may consider lifting the suspension when we see decisive and sustained actions to address our concerns, including targeting all terrorist groups operating within its territory, without distinction," Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan also said.
Islamabad denies harboring militant groups that carry out attacks in Afghanistan.