New Age Islam
Thu Dec 01 2022, 01:00 PM

Islam and Politics ( 4 Apr 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Reining in Hafiz Saeed and Lashkar e Tayyeba: Pakistan Forced to Pass Through Another Stern Test


By Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

(Translated by Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam)

Harsh reactions are expected from Pakistanis after the announcement of bounty by American administration for information against Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Chief of JuD and its other executive office bearer Abdur Rahman Makki, as Defence of Pakistan Council (Dafa-e-Pakistan Council) has already declared its intention to organise agitations. Hafiz Saeed and Abdur Rahman Makki is not in hiding like other criminals wanted by America, rather they are active all over the country from the platform of Dafa-e-Pakistan Council.

In the first instance it seems that America has expressed its anger and depression over the ban on NATO supply line.  It has also tried to lessen Indian government’s problems to a certain extent and has also sent a tough message to Pakistan government. Announcing a bounty for the arrest of Hafiz Saeed and his close relative Abdur Rahman Makki, after searching Osama bin Laden and killing him at Abbottabad is like an advance alarm bell of the coming sour relationship with Pakistan.

Hafiz Saeed says that there is no sign of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba in Pakistan and that he is with a rapidly rising organisation ‘Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation’. This ‘Foundation’ has established hundreds of educational institutions and welfare centres including hospitals and primary health-care centres all over the country. All these health related institutions are available for the inmates of jails in Punjab as well.

Banned Lashkar e Tayyeba’s former Chief Hafiz Saeed and his cousin Abdur Rahman Makki are busy in different cities of Pakistan in organising congregations and political meetings of Dafa-e-Pakistan Council. (It may be mentioned here that Abdur Rahman Makki is the son of well known Ahle-e-Hadees scholar Maulana Abdullah Bahawalpuri and Hafiz Saeed is his son in law and sister’s son.) They are also attending the meetings organised by JuD.

Undoubtedly, no Jihadi organisation with the name of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba is either active in Pakistan or its Jihadi actions are being noticed anywhere here. But the slogans and the ideology related with Lashkar-e-Tayyeba are evident even today. If one travels by road to any city of north Punjab from Multan, Bahawalpur, Bahawal Nagar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Leh, Muzaffar Garh, Dhaniwal or Lodhran, one can see slogans on both sides of the road announcing how much financial support Jihadist need to defeat America, India and Israel. In certain places one can see emotional hate-inspiring slogans against Hindus. These slogans say how much favoured in Islam is hatred against Hindus. And that if one wishes to be a ‘true Muslim’ one will have to nurse intense hatred of Hindus in every situation and circumstance. These demands now come from the platform of JuD and not Lashkar-e-Tayyeba. JuD is working exactly on the line on which banned Lashkar-e-Tayyeba used to, till some years back. JuD does not have that identity which Lashkar-e-Tayyeba used to have in the eyes of the law so it is not difficult for it to work unless it too is put in the category of ‘banned organisation’.

In the eyes of most Pakistanis, American administration’s decision of announcing a bounty for the arrest of JuD Chief Janab Hafiz Saeed is nothing but a conspiracy against Pakistan. Hafiz Saeed has been a supporter of harshest actions against NATO and especially drone attacks. Most Pakistan nationals think that America now wishes to remove all those Islamic scholars who are against its policies in the region. There is no doubt that most vocal and aggressive campaigns in favour of stopping NATO’s supply line have been those of Pakistan’s religious groups who have come together under the banner of Dafa-e-Pakistan. This American announcement is also being celebrated in India. But the question is will Hafiz Saeed, whom Pakistani courts have evicted from all charges, be arrested? What will be the fallout of this decision and will all the religious parties be successful in coming together on one platform in a way which may remind us of MMA?

As far as the question of Hafiz Saeed’s former organisation, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba’s involvement in Mumbai attack is concerned, Ajmal Qassab, the lone surviving attacker, has accepted his crime saying that he belongs to Lashkar-e-Tayyeba. He has further accepted that all the attackers were trained in the said organisation’s centres. 

If one wishes to prepare a list of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba’s Jihadi actions outside Pakistan, one can do it with the help of its previous mouthpiece “Mujallah-ud-Dawa” and present magazine “Al-Harmain”. These two magazines carry detailed information of Lashkar fighters or Jihadists’ killings of security forces and common people in other countries.

If all the facts are taken into account, it is clear that Hafiz Saeed has been a supporter of various armed Jihadi actions in many countries of the world.   His books and lectures can be used as a proof. But if all these things are happening, in the background of present regional and international differences, to prepare a case against Pakistan, its collective response can be judged to be right. But the real problem is Pakistan’s internal problems and its external reactions which are getting difficult to bring under control with every passing moment. We are getting maudlin in our response and crafting international alienation for ourselves. Now it has to be seen what action does the country take in connection with individual aggressive characters?

The author of nine books including the recent "Punjabi Taliban", Brussels-based Pakistani investigative journalist, Mujahid Hussain writes a regular column for New Age Islam. He has been contributing to leading papers as an investigative journalist for about two decades. His writings cover a vast panorama of topics concerning political and societal existence of Pakistan, a nation passing through difficult straits since a short time after its birth. With terrorism and security issues at local, regional, and global levels as his special area of study in recent years, Mujahid Hussain has earned a sizable readership in serious circles in Pakistan and abroad. Follower of an independent, non-partisan, and objective way of thinking, the author offers honest analysis of the challenges threatening communities, nations, and humanity at large.