WASHINGTON: After securing an agreement with the US administration to work jointly against Pakistan-based terrorist groups, Indian authorities are now focusing on one particular outfit, the D-Company.
Last week, the United States and India committed to taking “joint and concerted efforts” to dismantle terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Haqqani network and the D-company.
Know more: US, India vow to dismantle LeT, Al Qaeda
In a joint statement issued during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington last week, the two countries also vowed to disrupt all financial and tactical support provided to these groups.
Reports in the US and Indian media, however, suggest that India is focusing on one particular group, the so-called D-Company.
India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who stayed back in the US after Mr Modi’s departure, was tasked to work out a joint strategy for implementing the agreement reached during the visit.
Media reports suggest that Mr Doval’s talks with US officials focused on the D-Company as India believes that it will be relatively easy to choke this group’s financial sources as it depends heavily on illegal means, like smuggling and money laundering.
The Indians acknowledge that it will be more difficult to take similar measures against groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, which raises money within Pakistan from a network of mosques and madressahs spread across the country.
The Indians have reportedly informed US officials that the D-Company allegedly generates billions of dollars in revenue from legitimate business activities such as real estate and bank overhaul transactions, as well as illegal criminal enterprises around the world, especially in India.
The Indians also claim that the group maintains business interests in UAE and Pakistan as well.
Such transactions, the Indians argue, can be easily traced and blocked with support from US intelligence agencies.
The Indians are also pointing out several D-Company concerns that can be put on a US Treasury Department’s terror list for blocking their assets.
India regards D-Company as the largest underground business in South Asia.
Several members of the group are on the terrorist and/or wanted persons list produced by the Interpol.
Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2014