In what could be seen as a massive move against terror in Pakistan, the Pakistani authorities have put Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed under house arrest at the Qadisiyyah Mosque near Chouburji in Lahore. This news was released by Jamaat Ud Dawa(JuD) spokesperson Yahya Mujahid.
It is also assumed, although the possibility is unlikely, that the Jamaat Ud Dawa (JuD) could also be banned. Senior analyst Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami said that the new United States (US) regime is quite tough on these organizations & the Pakistani government might ban the organization.
Hafiz Saeed also released a video message. The important points of the message were –
- He addressed the message to the Kashmiri people, to the members of JuD& others who follow him.
- He admitted that the Pakistani government had ordered his house arrest due to diplomatic pressure.
- He then went on to highlight how he’d always worked for Pakistan’s benefit – relief measures, working for people in Balochistan & in Sindh, & particularly for Kashmir.
- He said that he’d declared 2017 as the ‘Year of Kashmir’, organising rallies & gathering support for Kashmir’s ‘cause’.
- Then, he went on to primarily blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his arrest, stating that this has happened because of Indian diplomatic pressure. He cited American President Trump saying that Donald Trump want’s very close relations with India & that’s why he’s sided with India to pressurize Pakistan into taking this action.
- And he categorically stated that his & Pakistan’s problem is not with America but with India & that Kashmir is the issue.
This might well seem like a big development in tackling terrorism by Pakistan. But let’s keep some things in mind –
Donald Trump just placed travel bans on 7 Muslim countries, & it’s being said that Pakistan could be next on the list. Pakistan can in no way afford this & hence this house arrest could be a charade in to letting the US believe that Pakistan has learnt its lesson & is truly intent on fighting terrorism.
Hafiz Saeed is too powerful a person in Pakistan. One can understand his level of influence by the fact that the Pakistani government runs special trains to carry people to his rallies. Such a person cannot suddenly become irrelevant. Also, Pakistan works on an Islamic ideology, hence its hatred for India & Israel. Hafiz Saeed is a very strong proponent of Islam, & his efforts to destabilize India are tremendously in sync with Pakistan’s military policy vis-à-vis India. Such a person can never be made useless by the Pakistan government.
This could be a positive sign for things to come, or it may not. Hafiz Saeed has been placed under house arrest previously as well, but we’ve seen how much of an ‘impact’ that’s had on him & his organisation. So, rather than rejoice we must tread cautiously & see what happens next.
In my opinion, the real indication that Pakistan is ready to change its terrorist-loving mindset would be if Hafiz Saeed is brought to task for the Mumbai terror attack, or if the bounty placed by the Obama administration on his head is finally ‘grabbed’ by someone.