Washington: Pakistan is a home to a large number of militant groups, which can be broadly divided into five groups, one of which specifically targets India and Kashmir that gets the maximum support from the establishment, says a US Congressional report.

The independent Congressional Research Service said in its latest report to US lawmakers India- and Kashmir-oriented militants, especially the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and Harakat ul-Mujahadeen (HuM), are based in both the Punjab province and in Pakistan-held Kashmir.

The report said within Pakistan the densely populated Punjab province is home to numerous Islamist militant groups with global and regional jihadist aspirations.

LeT most notable

Perhaps most notable among these is the LeT, a US-designated terrorist group with longstanding ties to the ISI, and blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 persons, it said.

Islamist militant groups operating in and from Pakistani territory are of five broad types – Globally oriented militants, Afghanistan-oriented militants, India- and Kashmir-oriented militants, Sectarian militants, and domestically oriented.

Globally oriented militants are especially al-Qaeda and its primarily Uzbek affiliates, operating out of the FATA and in the megacity of Karachi, it said.

The Afghanistan-oriented militants, included the 'Quetta shura' of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, believed to operate from the Balochistan provincial capital of Quetta, as well as Karachi. the report said.

(Agencies)