For CIA, VHP & Bajrang Dal Are Militant Outfits, But Not Afghan Taliban

The CIA World Factbook has made headlines for tagging the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal as militant religious organisations, but it makes no such classification for well-known extremist outfits in India’s restive neighbourhood.

Not even one ‘political pressure group’ — the heading under which the two groups are listed — from other countries in South Asia, including Pakistan, has been classified as either a militant or a militant religious organisation by the US intelligence agency in its latest Factbook update

Even the Afghan Taliban is listed just as a political pressure group in the country. In Pakistan, much to the surprise of many, only one entity makes the cut as a political pressure group — the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC), whose chief, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, had reportedly encouraged suicide attacks in 2013.

An Afghan channel had carried footage of Ashrafi purportedly saying, “I believe Palestine is occupied by Israel, Kashmir by India and Afghanistan by the US. So, if innocent Muslims don’t have the atomic bombs, they have their lives and they sacrifice their lives for Allah…” Read More

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