WASHINGTON: The Trump administration on Thursday designated as global terrorists six individuals accused of supporting the Taliban and Haqqani network in Afghanistan. The administration stressed their links to Pakistan.

Among them are senior members of the former Taliban government in Afghanistan, including former central bank governor Abdul Samad Sani. The six individuals, said to have been part of Taliban leadership bodies in Pakistan, are alleged to have provided financing and weapons for militants involved in attacks on US-led coalition forces.

President Trump’s policy, unveiled last summer, is intended to turn around the 17-year war in Afghanistan by boosting the US military’s help to Afghan government forces and by pressuring Pakistan to cooperate.

“The Pakistan government must work with us to deny the Taliban and the Haqqani network sanctuary and to aggressively target terrorist fundraising,” Mr. Mandelker, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

The blacklisted individuals include: Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer, said to have led the finance commission of the Taliban leadership Shura in Peshawar. He is alleged to have provided tens of thousands of dollars for Taliban attacks in Afghanistan’s Kunar province last fall.

One notable name on the list is that of Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai, said to have served for several years on the Taliban finance commission and been in charge of the group’s finances for southern and western Afghanistan. He is alleged to have passed on 10 million euros paid to the Taliban for the release of hostages in mid-2011 to the finance commission’s leader in Quetta.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2018

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