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Canada officially lists Pakistani Taliban as terrorist organization

Ottawa, Wed, 06 Jul 2011 ANI

Ottawa, July 6(ANI): Canada has officially listed the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as a terrorist organisation.


The group, also known as Pakistani Taliban, operates from northwest Pakistan in the mountainous tribal regions along the Afghanistan border.


Listing the TTP as a terrorist group is part of a "global effort to crack down on terrorism wherever we find it," CBC News quoted Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, as as telling reporters on Parliament Hill.


The group has claimed responsibility for many suicide attacks in Pakistan and on a CIA base in Afghanistan, as well as the attempted bombing of New York's Times Square in May 2010.


"Our decision will enhance the security and safety of Canadians," Baird said, noting the group's previous targets.


The United States and the United Kingdom already include the TTP on their list of terrorist organizations, Baird noted.


"Obviously, our Charter, our Criminal Code operates differently than they do," the minister said, explaining the delay in Canada's decision. "We took the time to ensure that we had met the threshold so it could survive any legal challenge and are comfortable to do so today."


Baird told reporters that the listing will force financial institutions to review their accounts and report any suspicious assets to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).


Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said earlier that the threat of terrorism is "real, persistent, and evolving" and that authorities must "remain vigilant in confronting it."


The minister called the listing under Canada's Criminal Code an essential part of the country's efforts to combat terrorism and "keep our communities safe."


He said the Pakistani Taliban meets the legal threshold, which requires reasonable grounds to believe it has "knowingly participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity or is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with such an entity."


The TTP's stated objectives include resistance to Pakistan's government, enforcement of its harsh interpretation of Shariah law, and a plan to unite forces against NATO troops in Afghanistan. (ANI)


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