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The interior ministry was unable to brief the Senate on questions seeking information about the detention and trial of former Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan, and the nature of cases against him.
"Will the case of former TTP spokesperson be sent to a military court," Babar had asked.
The ministry said it had no clue pertaining to Ehsanullah Ehsan's trial, adding that the issue had been taken up with the civil intelligence agencies but they said "they weren't looking into the matter".
The interior ministry, however, said the case of Ehsan, who is reportedly in the custody of security agencies, would be put forward before a special committee as per the recommendations of the home department. "The case will be sent to a military court if the committee gives approval."
In December, Peshawar High Court had barred the government from releasing Ehsan, asking the authorities to continue investigating the former militant.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, who had been associated with TTP and later its splinter group, the Jamaatul Ahrar (JuA), reportedly turned himself in April last year.
Apprehensions regarding a possible pardon for and release of Ehsan were raised after his interviews to local media were released and aired.
Observers had asked why authorities deemed it okay to allow the representative of one of the most notorious terrorist groups space on national media.

In a written response, following a question raised by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar asking if "Ehsan was under trial", the ministry said on Thursday they had no information regarding this.
"Will the case of former TTP spokesperson be sent to a military court," Babar had asked.
The ministry said it had no clue pertaining to Ehsanullah Ehsan's trial, adding that the issue had been taken up with the civil intelligence agencies but they said "they weren't looking into the matter".
The interior ministry, however, said the case of Ehsan, who is reportedly in the custody of security agencies, would be put forward before a special committee as per the recommendations of the home department. "The case will be sent to a military court if the committee gives approval."
In December, Peshawar High Court had barred the government from releasing Ehsan, asking the authorities to continue investigating the former militant.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, who had been associated with TTP and later its splinter group, the Jamaatul Ahrar (JuA), reportedly turned himself in April last year.
Apprehensions regarding a possible pardon for and release of Ehsan were raised after his interviews to local media were released and aired.
Observers had asked why authorities deemed it okay to allow the representative of one of the most notorious terrorist groups space on national media.

On the catalogue of injuries faced by religious minorities in Pakistan

Religious minorities have been living in Pakistan for centuries, but still they are not considered equal citizens. They are persecuted by both state and society. Why?
Since the birth of Pakistan, religious minorities have been demanding safety and equal rights. Though government officials promise time and again to take necessary measures to protect them, injustices and persecution are ongoing. Just a week ago, five Hazara (ethnic minority) Shia Muslim were killed by extremists. Recently, in two different incidents, two young Christian boys were killed in Punjab province, Pakistan’s most populous region. Just a week before Christmas, on 17 December, 4 suicide bombers from ISIS attacked a church in Quetta, Baluchistan Province. They killed at least nine Christian men, women, and children, and wounded 56 others. On 9 October, Arslan Masih, who was 14-year-old, was beaten to death by six policemen in Sheikhupura. And, on 27 August, Sharoon, 17, was killed in the classroom by his classmate in Vehari. According to Sharoon’s mother, her son was killed because of his Christianity. He was warned against drinking from a glass used by Muslim students who called him a ‘choora’ (a derogatory term which often used for Christians in Pakistan).
Pakistan is an Islamic country, which was arrived on the world map on 14 August 1947. When British rulers left the Indian subcontinent, they divided the region into two independent states: India and Pakistan – created as a state for subcontinent Muslims. According to Pakistan’s constitution, non-Muslims are considered a minority, including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Ahmadis, Kalash, Zoroastrians, and so on. At the time of partition, they constituted 20% of the total population. Today, however, minorities constitute only 3% of Pakistan’s 207 million people because of their continual emigration. According to government statistics, almost 97% of Pakistanis are Muslim - about 80 percent Sunni and nearly 20 percent Shia.
Hindus are the country’s largest minority, and around 80% live in Sindh province. They carry the burden of historical prejudice. They face land-grabbing, attacks, and kidnapping. Forced conversions, temple desecration, rape, and murder are also reported regularly. Christians are the second major minority community across the country, and about 80%live in Punjab province. They are the poorest section of society and often falsely accused of blasphemy against Islam and face constant violence. During just the first two weeks of 2016, five attacks on churches and Christians were reported by the media.
“Violence against minority groups is deeply embedded within political and social processes in Pakistan,” said Umair Javed, a columnist for Dawn, a liberal Pakistani newspaper. Sadly, many Pakistanis portrayed Hindus as enemies, and Christians as agents of the west. Both communities are also considered infidels, which makes their position more vulnerable.
Even within the Muslim population some groups are considered minorities. The Hazara, for instance, is an ethnic group within the Shia Muslim community which has been brutally attacked by militant sectarian organisations in Baluchistan province. In the first 10 months of 2017, at least 14 Hazaras were killed in targeted attacks. Since 2002, at least 2,679 Shia Muslims, most of them Hazara, have been killed in Pakistan, according to Al Jazeera. The Kalash is another tiny, peaceful community of about 3,000, which follow pre-Islamic customs. They were forcibly converted to Islam in the isolated Kalash valley. In one of the incidents last year, a young Kalash girl Reena, 14, was converted to Islam under duress. When she ran back to her family, Muslims attacked Kalash homes while police did not provide them substantive protection.
Because of religious prejudice, these communities are regularly discriminated against in education, employment, political, social and cultural life in the country. Asif Khan, a Muslim board member of the Shaheed Bhutto Foundation admitted that spaces in all spheres across the country were shrinking for minorities. An editorial of The Daily Times, an English newspaper in Pakistan, says, “In Pakistan, minorities feel insecure, and this is the result of the discriminatory policies of the state and society towards them. There are numerous examples of injustices that are committed against members of minority communities on an almost daily basis across the country, but the government does not seem to care.”
Recently a Church was attacked in Quetta by unknown assailants. The police failed to trace them. Last year, on Easter Sunday, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 73 people, including 29 children, the youngest only 2 years old, and injured more than 350. A majority of them were Christians. In September 2013, when the federal government was having talks with the Taliban factions, a twin suicide bombing at All Saints Church in Peshawar resulted in the killing of 127 Christians. It was the deadliest attack against Christians in creation of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s minority communities face danger not only from militants and terrorists, but often from their fellow citizens, who consider them inferior. The genesis of this attitude lies in the state’s philosophy, which is based on one particular religion: Islam. Since the birth of the country, the state has been directly and indirectly promoting an ideology which makes minorities second-class citizens in their own land. When hundreds of Muslims attack a Christian locality because of an alleged blasphemy accusation, this is not the act of just a handful of militants. It is a clear reflection of the mindset of the Pakistani public and the general attitude of local society, which is increasingly becoming less tolerant towards minorities. Their message is loud and clear that Pakistan was created only for Muslims. As former President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Pakistan, Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha stated, “Pakistan has become a state only for Muslims.”
Pakistan’s minority communities face danger not only from militants and terrorists, but often from their fellow citizens, who consider them inferior. The genesis of this attitude lies in the state’s philosophy.
Yet Pakistani scholar Farahnaz Ispahani is of the view that Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted to make a homeland for South Asia’s Muslims, not an Islamic state. As Pakistan was created in the name of religion, in many parts of India and Pakistan, large-scale violent incidents started among Muslim, Hindus and Sikhs. At least two million people lost their lives in conflict and around 14 million people were displaced along religious lines on the both sides of the border.
To minimise religious conflict, Jinnah, the first Governor General of Pakistan, appointed Jogendra Nath Mandal, a Hindu, as Federal Education and Law Minister, and Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, an Ahmadi, as Foreign and Commonwealth Relations Minister. In the first two years, Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly held meetings without any religious symbolism. Yet the nature of governance changed quickly. In 1949, just a year after Jinnah’s death, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan introduced the Objectives Resolution. Islam was declared as the state religion. The resolution tried to establish Pakistani nationhood according to a principle of religious conformity. Thereafter, religion took centre stage in Pakistani society through state policies and its direct interventions. As a consequence, non-Muslims’ status as equal citizens was threatened, and began to diminish.
In 1956, when the country adopted its current name, the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan,’ the lives of minorities changed in another significant way. History tells us that all governments of Pakistan used Islamic ideological card to hold political power. However, the process of ‘Islamification’, introduced and stringently enforced by the late dictator General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (1977 – 88), furthered this process of discrimination against minority communities. Islamic policies proliferated madrassas, which promoted hard-line ideology, introduced controversial blasphemy laws and instituted Sharia courts in the country. State and society increasingly rejected rationalism and humanism, amping up hostility towards vulnerable minorities.
The ill-treatment of minorities is two-fold: biased legislation and social intolerance. These two forms of discrimination do not operate in isolation; rather, they work together and are mutually reinforcing The law also contributes to these discriminatory practices. Though the constitution of Pakistan guarantees equal rights for every citizen under Article 25, the same document prohibits non-Muslims from becoming president or prime minister. The same standard applies to other high positions within the government.
This constitutional provision has a trickle-down effect and causes institutional prejudice for minorities. As a result, Christians and low-caste Hindus are often forced into low-paying menial positions as agriculture workers, sweepers and brick-kiln workers. Many are trapped in the net of bonded labour. Such a situation leads to further social stigmatisation and reinforces their economic marginalisation. It is difficult, for instance, for non-Muslim groups to find jobs in restaurants or working as street vendors because most Muslims refuse to accept food cooked or touched by them. Consequently, the majority of these communities live in abject poverty, and are forced to face the worst forms of social and economic discrimination, and social and political isolation.
Despite all these challenges, minority communities are playing a major role in the development of the country. For example, Christians continue to make significant contributions to the country’s health, education and social development sectors. Ironically, while the Christian community has a long service in promoting education across the country, its own literacy rate is just 19% compared to Pakistan’s overall literacy rate of 58%.
Among minorities, Christian, Hindu and Kalash girls and women are victims of the worst forms of religious persecution. Apart from other forms of violence, the number of forced conversion cases of girls and women are rapidly mounting. The Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan reported that every year around 700 Hindu women and girls, many of whom are minors, are abducted, forcefully converted, and then forcibly married to Muslim men, usually their abductors. Christian and Kalash girls face a similar situation. And yet the state is a silent spectator on this critical issue, clearly lacking any appetite to address it.
In addition to social intolerance, minorities face persecution of a more threatening kind: being accused of blasphemy. Aasia Bibi’s case is a prime example of this. A poor, illiterate Pakistani Christian woman and mother of five, Aasia was accused of blasphemy in 2009 during an argument with her Muslim fellow field workers, who refused to drink from a bucket of water which she had touched as they said she had defiled it by being Christian. She was convicted by a Pakistani court, received a death sentence, and is now on death row. Both Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer, a progressive Muslim, and Federal Minister for Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian, were assassinated for speaking up for her.
The media, especially Urdu newspapers and magazines, and public schools’ syllabuses are also playing a role in intensifying intolerance against minorities. A study conducted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute Pakistan has pointed out that textbooks contain a distorted presentation of national history. The views in these textbooks encourage prejudice and bigotry towards women and religious minorities, glorify war and incite violence. Dr Riaz Sheikh Szabist University maintains that the social construction of Pakistani society is based on the religious hatred of people of other faiths. “This is why societal marginalisation in Pakistan has increased where the majority has the power over minority communities, whose space in society has shrunk,” he says. Not surprisingly, then, the Minority Rights Group International (MRG) categorises Pakistan as one of the world’s most dangerous countries for religious minorities. According to Amnesty International’s latest report, “State and non-state actors continued to discriminate against religious minorities, both Muslim and non-Muslim, in law and practice.”
Against this backdrop, there is clearly no quick and easy solutions. Though the situation is not encouraging, there are still some reasons for hope. After terrorist attacks on several churches in Peshawar in 2013, and Lahore in 2014, some Muslim members of civil society made human chains outside churches in many cities during Sunday prayer services to show solidarity with their fellow Pakistani citizens. In its June 2014 verdict on a suo moto case – on its own motion – pertaining to the Peshawar church attack in 2013, the Supreme Court of Pakistan found “that the incident of desecration of places of worship of minorities could (have been) warded off if the authorities concerned had taken preventive measures at the appropriate time.” It is the responsibility of federal and provincial governments to take necessary actions to implement the judgment of the country’s highest court. Sadly, neither the federal government nor the provincial governments, particularly the provincial government of Punjab, seem to have the will to do this. Last year, the National Assembly approved the Protection of Minorities Bill, which addressed forced conversions. However, it has not yet been approved by the Senate.
Minorities maintain little hope in the present Conservative government, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, whose success has mainly depended on the support of the right-wing religious vote bank. Nevertheless, after taking office in August, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the protection of minorities was a priority.
But because of their experiences, minorities do not trust these kind of statements. If the government is to deliver on minority rights, it should make minorities feel they belong in Pakistan as much as any Muslim does. The government needs to align all its laws with international conventions which would help promote tolerance and religious freedom in the country if it wishes to become an honourable member of the international community. Time has proven that the existing laws are clearly discriminatory in their nature, and policies have not brought any relief to the country and its people; rather they have divided the nation. To turn Pakistan into a diverse and tolerant society, there are fundamental steps that need to be taken – and democratic voices, struggling for a more pluralistic society, should be heard.

Pakistan - Zardari woos Baloch leaders for senate support

By Hafeez Tunio
Top Pakistan Peoples Party leaders and newly-elected Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo met at CM House on Thursday to discuss the upcoming senate elections.

Though it was a reception hosted by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in honor of his counterpart and his cabinet members, almost all PPP lawmakers attended the event and turned it into a strategy meeting for the upcoming senate elections. Photos issued by chief minister house clearly showed Zardari chairing a meeting in the presence of both chief ministers.
Sources privy to development told The Express Tribune that the senate elections were discussed and Bizenjo had assured that his members in the provincial assembly will support PPP candidates in the election. “PPP will see 18 senators retiring in March this year, leaving behind only eight members in the upper house, so the leadership is trying to gain as many seats as it can with the help of the Balochistan Assembly, where the party has no representation,” a senior PPP leader who was present at the meeting told The Express Tribune.
Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, leader of the opposition Aitzaz Ahsan, Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Sardar Fateh Mohammed Hassani, Taj Haider, Farhatullah Babar, Dr Kareem Khawaja, Ajiz Dhamrah, Saifullah Magsi, Rozi Khan Kakar, Rubina Khalid and Mohammad Yousaf are among the PPP senators whose tenures will end in March. “Zardari has tasked Balochistan CM to negotiate with coalition partners and other party members to support PPP candidates for the senate. If so, the PPP will be the first party to get members elected from Balochistan without even having a single member in the house,” the PPP leader proudly said. Other sources said, “The Balochistan chief minister and other members in the meeting are likely to join the PPP before the upcoming general elections. You can say that Zardari, who chaired a meeting in the presence of two chief ministers, has already won a mandate from two assemblies.”
The Balochistan CM had thanked former president Zardari, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, and Sindh Chief Minister Shah for welcoming the democratic change in the Balochistan government and also for congratulating him and his cabinet members when they took their new oaths.
“You are politically sagacious and a true democratic leader who knows the art of keeping democracy on the right track, whatever the situation,” he said to Zardari.
The chief minister also appreciated Sindh Industries Minister Manzoor Hussain Wassan for seeing a true dream of change in Balochistan.
Balochistan cabinet members including Sardar Mohamad Saleh Bhootani, Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali, Minister for Communication Mir Asim Kurd, Izhar Hussain Khoso, Minister for Minerals Mir Akbar Askani, Minister Revenue Manzoor Kakar, Minister for Services Amir Rind, Zamruk Khan, Minister for Local government Ghulam Dastagir Badini, Minister for Health Majid Abro, Minister for Education Tahir Mahmood, Mohammad Khan Lahri and others.
Zardari said that the change in Balochistan through a democratic process was the manifestation of political maturity of the people of Balochistan and their elected representatives.
“I congratulate the chief minister and his cabinet and also congratulate the people of Balochistan for supporting democratic system,” he said.
The former president said that it has been the tradition of PPP to support the rights of people of smaller province. He said that the province of Balochistan is rich in mineral resources. The people of Balochistan are sensible, politically awakened and are keen to reap the fruits of democracy. “We have to work together for the prosperity of Balochistan and its people,” he added.
Sindh Chief Minister said Karachi has the honour of being the second home of the people of Balochistan. “Most of your leaders, tribal heads, bureaucrats, agriculturists, educationists and others have homes in other districts of Sindh as well,” he said, adding, “The people of Sindh have always stood with their Baloch brothers through thick and thin.” At this, Zardari said that Baloch leaders live in Sindh and do politics in Balochistan. “They are like our family members,” he added.

Pakistan's Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: 'We need to counter extremist ideological narrative'

Pakistan is set to hold general elections this year which will be crucial for its democratic future. DW spoke to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairman, about the key problems facing the nation.
Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (picture-alliance/dpa)
DW: Pakistan claims it has made huge sacrifices in combating terrorism but they are not recognized by the West. You also mentioned once that you are one of the biggest victims of terrorism and that you lost your mother because of it. Against this backdrop, how would you present Pakistan's position on this issue to the international community?
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: It is the duty of all of us to present Pakistan's views and concerns on this issue and I shall contribute my part. We should openly debate about extremism and terrorism, not just about militancy. The cultural and ideological narratives should also be discussed. In doing so, militancy should be countered. 
As far as Pakistan's sacrifices are concerned, I think it may be that the world's major powers prioritize their strategic interests rather than fight against extremism and terrorism. 
So if we want to fight these problems in our own country, we should do it on our own. We are currently pursuing whatever military options are available, but there is no holistic approach and we're not implementing a national action plan to resolve the problem. We are also not doing anything about counteracting the extremist ideological narrative. 
As Pakistan hasn't even had a foreign minister for four years now, it's difficult to imagine who could do the job of presenting Pakistan's perspective on this issue to the international community. 
We have to fight against extremism and terrorism not for [US President Donald] Trump or for [Indian PM Narendra] Modi, but just for ourselves.
Opposition parties in Pakistan are trying their best to affect a change in government and bring forward the next elections. What is your policy in this regard?
The Pakistan People's Party is ready for elections. Whether they are held as per the current timetable or are brought forward, we are fully prepared. But for a democratic transition, it is necessary that parliament completes its term and that the power transition from one civilian government to the other happens smoothly. 
It will be good for our country. The problem, in my opinion, however, is that [former PM] Nawaz Sharif wants to destroy the whole system by any means and at any cost so that he can escape from the problems posed by the Panama Papers scandal
You once criticized Nawaz Sharif of being disloyal to the country because of his friendship with Narendra Modi. Do you still believe that friendly relations with a neighbor are a sign of disloyalty?
Whatever I said was in the context of Kashmir. I criticized Nawaz Sharif's personal friendship with Modi, but my point has been that there should be good and friendly ties between India and Pakistan at state level. But friendship between these two leaders hasn't turned into a friendly relationship between the two states. We therefore should have engagement at state level.
In recent years, critics say freedom of expression and free press have been increasingly under threat in Pakistan. What is your take on this? 
I think they are right. Pakistan's media is in a state of crisis nowadays for a number of reasons. Media outlets in the country are increasingly influenced by government officials and big businessmen, and they try to create a narrative suited to their interests. 
Secondly, the kind of atrocities journalists go through is really bad. When such things happen even in the capital Islamabad, they send a very bad signal.
But it's not just in Pakistan that free speech is under attack. That's the case now in many parts of the world. So we have to discourage this trend and address this issue by standing up for those in the media community, both in Pakistan as well as across the world. 
What is your view on the issue of fake news? 
I have said that propaganda, misinformation and disinformation have always been part of political warfare.
Social media and other new platforms have given it a new life and reach through which the fake news phenomenon can reach everywhere.
In this regard, during my discussion at the World Economic Forum, I basically focused on how to teach and train the youth what is real journalism and how to practice real journalism. We need to tell them about biases and sourcing. We should teach them how to take into account views from all sides. I think censorship in the name of fighting fake news is a dangerous thing for Pakistan.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is chairman of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP). The interview was conducted by DW Urdu's Irfan Aftab on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

U.S. Department of the Treasury Sanctions Taliban and Haqqani Network Financiers and Facilitators

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today to expose and disrupt the financing of the Taliban and Haqqani Network by designating six individuals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. Four of the individuals – Abdul Samad Sani, Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer, Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai, and Maulawi Inayatullah – were designated for acting on behalf of the Taliban, while the remaining two – Faqir Muhammad and Gula Khan Hamidi – were sanctioned for acting on behalf of the Haqqani Network.
As a result of today’s designations, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
“We are targeting six individuals related to the Taliban or Haqqani Network who have been involved in attacks on Coalition troops, smuggling of individuals, or financing these terrorist groups,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “This action supports the President’s South Asia Strategy by disrupting these terrorist organizations and publically exposing individuals who facilitate their activities. The Pakistani government must work with us to deny the Taliban and the Haqqani Network sanctuary and to aggressively target their terrorist fundraising.”


Abdul Samad Sani (Sani) was designated for acting for or on behalf of the Taliban.
In early 2017, Sani sent weapons to Taliban members who later attacked an Afghan National Police (ANP) patrol that resulted in the death of one ANP officer and the wounding of two others. As of June 2015, Sani was a member of the Taliban Senior Shura who had received funding to purchase supplies and ammunition for Taliban commanders and fighters engaged in combat in Afghanistan. As of March 2015, Sani was personally involved in appointing special representatives to serve as Taliban fundraisers abroad.
In 2014, Sani traveled to the Gulf to obtain funding and supplies. As of February 2014, the Taliban appointed Sani to take charge of marble mining operations and increase mining production, and that summer he was responsible for collecting funds from an onyx mine in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and other smuggling operations in which the Taliban had a vested interest. As of November 2013, Sani assisted Taliban commanders and fighters with the financial costs of their medical treatment by arranging for the payment of their medical bills. In August 2013, Sani, a senior Afghan Taliban official, arranged for an Iran-based associate to help a Taliban fundraiser in Iran meet potential donors. As of November 2012, Sani was responsible for collecting donations from businessmen who were Taliban sympathizers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. and in late 2012, Sani traveled at the request of OFAC designated Taliban Finance Commission Head, Gul Agha, to the Girdi Jungal area in Pakistan and collected approximately $450,000 worth of Pakistani rupees from narcotics traffickers.
Sani has served as the Taliban’s Deputy Finance Commissioner, and served as the Governor for the Afghan Central Bank during the Taliban regime.


Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer (Baseer) was designated for acting for or on behalf of the Taliban.
In the fall of 2017, Baseer provided Taliban commanders with tens of thousands of dollars for previous attacks conducted in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. In early 2016, Baseer hosted meetings with leaders of the Taliban to convince them to support the then-Supreme Leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur. In the spring of 2015, Baseer, a member of the Taliban Finance Commission, hosted a meeting of the Taliban Senior Shura to plan for the spring 2015 fighting season. As of early 2015, Baseer led the Finance Commission of the Taliban Peshawar Shura, which was responsible for the Taliban’s military and political activities in northern and eastern Afghanistan. Baseer was responsible for collecting financial aid from domestic and foreign sponsors. As of early 2014, Baseer disbursed funds directly to Taliban shadow governors and was responsible for approving large expenses. As of early 2014, Baseer collected all the money from narcotics trafficking, precious stone sales, tithing, and almsgiving.
As of 2009, he served as the treasurer for the Taliban in Peshawar, Pakistan. He was the financial advisor to the Taliban’s Peshawar Military Council and head of the Taliban’s Peshawar Financial Commission as of early 2010. He personally delivers money from the Taliban’s leadership Shura to Taliban groups throughout Pakistan.
During the Taliban regime, Baseer was the General Consul of the Taliban in Islamabad, Pakistan, and according to the United Nations, he also served as the Taliban regime’s Military Attaché at the Taliban Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.


Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai (Popalzai) was designated for acting for or on behalf of both the Taliban and Gul Agha Ishakzai.
Popalzai has served for several years on the Taliban Finance Commission and was in charge of the Taliban's finances for southern and western Afghanistan, including Qandahar, Helmand, Nimroz, Herat, Zabul, Uruzgan, and Farah provinces. As of late 2013, Popalzai and Amir Abdullah, a Taliban finance official who has traveled internationally to fundraise for the group and who is designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, worked with businessmen and hawalas to send money to Taliban commanders in Afghanistan. Popalzai was one of four individuals responsible for all Taliban financing, including foreign financing and money from the narcotics trade, as well as investing the Taliban’s money. As of late 2012, Popalzai’s role with the Taliban Finance Commission was to collect money for the Taliban from Qandahar, Helmand, Herat, and Kabul Provinces, Afghanistan, a role he has had since the late 2000s. Once Popalzai received the money, he would pass the funds on to Finance Commission leader Gul Agha Ishakzai (Ishakzai), who is also designated pursuant to E.O. 13224.
In mid-2011, the Taliban was paid 10 million Euros for the release of hostages that the Taliban was holding. The Taliban arranged for money to be deposited into an account at an Afghan bank in Qandahar, Afghanistan. The account, which ultimately belonged to Ishakzai, was held in a false name. Popalzai traveled to Qandahar City to retrieve the money and return to Quetta, Pakistan to give the money to Ishakzai.


Maulawi Inayatullah (Inayatullah) was designated for acting for or on behalf of the Taliban.
Inayatullah has been a Taliban military affairs member in charge of multiple Afghan provinces, and was a member of the Taliban Peshawar Shura. As of late 2016, Inayatullah operated as the overall Taliban member responsible for attacks against Afghan and Coalition Forces in Kabul, Afghanistan. Inayatullah provided financial support and other materials for the attack planners. As of late 2013, Inayatullah, as the Taliban’s Military Commission Deputy Leader, procured weapons, ammunition, and supplies for operations in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. In addition, Inayatullah received a large sum of money from a contact and gave it to a courier to provide to al Qa’ida militants.


Faqir Muhammad (Faqir) was designated for acting for or on behalf of the Haqqani Network.
For several years, Faqir has been a major fundraiser for the Haqqani Network.


Gula Khan Hamidi (Hamidi) was designated for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, the Haqqani Network, as well as for acting for or on behalf of the Haqqani Network.
As of July 2015, Hamidi facilitated communication between a Haqqani Network official and a Haqqani Network contact in Syria and, as of mid-2014, Hamidi was relied upon to faithfully translate communications between Haqqani Network officials and a Haqqani Network contact in Syria. As of September 2014, Hamidi agreed to facilitate travel for a Haqqani Network-affiliated Uzbek extremist and his associates from Pakistan to Turkey. As of July 2014, Hamidi likely facilitated the transfer of funds from the Haqqani Network to a Pakistan-based Uzbek extremist. As of early 2014, Hamidi was an honored representative of the Haqqani Network in meetings with various Syrian faction leaders in Syria. Also as of early 2014, Hamidi planned to send funds to Germans located with the Haqqani Network in Pakistan. In the fall of 2013, Hamidi coordinated with now-deceased senior Haqqani Network official and SDGT Nasiruddin Haqqani on the travel of an associate to Turkey. In mid-2013, Hamidi sent approximately $21,000 to a senior Haqqani Network official.
In addition to, and separately from, his activities for the Haqqani Network, Hamidi has also been involved for years in coordinating travel and smuggling activity, to include working with an Iran-based smuggler regarding the travel of persons from Afghanistan to Europe in late 2017. In March 2017, Hamidi coordinated with an Iran-based associate regarding the smuggling of an Afghan person attempting to travel from Turkey to Syria. He has also smuggled individuals from Afghanistan to Syria, and from Turkey into and around Europe. In October 2014, Hamidi’s facilitation network coordinated the travel of al Qa’ida and Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan associates to Turkey, and in late 2013, Hamidi facilitated the movement of two groups of foreign fighters to Turkey from Pakistan.