The Pakistan government has begun to compile a central registry of militants and extremists along with the details of the groups with which they are affiliated. According to a February 9 report in the Pakistani Daily Times, the lists will include those working in the United Jihad Council, an umbrella organization of Jihadi groups fighting Indian rule in occupied Kashmir (www.dailytimes.com.pk). The registry is aimed at solving the problem of identifying militants who had left their parent militant organisations and gone on to form smaller groups, which are often more active in terrorist activities. Security authorities are to focus on militants who had separated from the more familiar groups such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sihaba, Harkat Jihad-e-Islami al-Alami, Jamiat ul-Ansar, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Sipah-e-Muhammad and Khudam ul-Furqan.
The measure comes with increasing concern at the movement of suspected terrorists away from the Afghan-Pakistan border zones into the interior. The Pakistani daily Insaf reported on January 28 that a number of al-Qaeda members had been making their way south from North Waziristan and have been hiding in Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan. The paper also speculated that al-Qaeda’s number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may be among those who have moved, and that he may be either in the provinces of Sindh or Balochistan in the protection of some local dignitary.