Though Pakistan’s links with terrorism have been disclosed many times, still facts and information keep coming which strengthen this finding. Recently an American report claimed that the ISI has secret links with the Taliban. This report has come when the USA is providing both money and arms to Pakistan to counter and defeat the Taliban. Now in this context we can remember those charges of India who say that Pakistan uses the military and monetary support received from the US against India.
Though this sensational report has been rejected by Pakistan, the makers of the report have again asserted that they have a lot of proof. Now we just have to wait and see what claims Pakistan presents to prove its innocence.
Let’s look at another aspect of the terrorism – Pakistan relations which doesn’t require a report and which can’t be called a part of ‘conspiracy’ against Pakistan. Recently, the government of Punjab province of Pakistan presented its budget in which 0.82 million rupees have been declared for the banned organisation Jamaat-Ud-Daawah. Let me mention once again what this Jamaat-Ud-Daawah exactly is. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the main conspirator of the Mumbai attacks of 26/11, is an international terrorist who is freely moving and publicly abusing America and India in Pakistan. The same Hafiz Saeed earlier established the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba. When it became excessively notorious, then Saeed put up the label of social organisation on it and in this way in 2001, he became head of the newly self created organisation Jamaat-Ud-Daawah. Meanwhile, LeT was banned under international pressure.
The lone terrorist of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab himself admitted in the special court in Mumbai that the 26/11 attack was conspired in Pakistan in which 20 people including Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-Ur-Rahman Lakhvi were involved. The Indian court in its verdict has mentioned the name of Hafiz Saeed as a conspirator of Mumbai attacks. A Red Corner notice was also issued against Saeed by the Interpol in August 2009 in relation to 26/11 attacks. Consequently he was put under house-arrest in December 2008. But on June 2, 2009 the Lahore High Court let Hafiz Saeed free by saying that there was no proof of his and Lakhvi’s involvement in 26/11 even though there was an eyewitness.
Many more things are noticeable regarding Hafiz Saeed. His image of ‘cleric’ has made him popular among the illiterate masses of the Punjab province. This also restricts the Pak government in acting against him. Secondly, Hafiz Saeed has the ‘umbrella’ protection of hundreds of trained militants. Therefore it is not easy to arrest him as a terrorist. Moreover, Pakistan has been using Saeed to achieve its ends in Kashmir. Now in these circumstances, if Pakistan wants to arrest him or take strict action against him, then Hafiz Saeed can disclose many such truths which can create problems for the Pak government, Pak Army and the ISI. It’s obvious that Pakistan would not allow this to happen.
By the above situation, it should be clear why exactly money is being alotted to Jamaat-Ud-Daawah from the Punjab government budget. Its supporters say that the UN or the US has no right to ban any organisation active in Pakistan. According to them banning of any organisation in Pakistan requires a specific notification by the Pakistan government whereas no such notification has been issued by the government vis-a-vis Jamaat-Ud-Daawah. Therefore Jamaat-Ud-Daawah cannot be called as a banned organisation. It is clear by this defensive claim by Pak officials that neither is it concerned by the confession of Kasab, nor by the verdict of the Indian court, nor by any kind of pressure from India, USA or the UN. There is no need to worry for them because a sea of well wishers of Hafiz Saeed are right there in the Pakistan government, Army and ISI. Rather, current circumstances are telling the world that the Pak government, Army and ISI themselves are more concerned as to how to protect Jamaat-Ud-Daawah so that in the future the group can help them in their anti-India operations in Kashmir.
It seems so contradictory that while the Pak government and Lahore High Court don’t treat Saeed as an accused for 26/11 whereas the Indian court considers him as a culprit and the Indian government has also given enough proof of his involvement to the Pak government. Notwithstanding all this, Hafiz Saeed is publicly saying in Pakistani cities that one 26/11 is not sufficient for India. On what basis is he openly threatening India?
Recently, Jamaat-Ud-Daawah organised an anti-Israel protest on the main roads of Pakistan. In this, the extremist leaders of Daawah were seen crushing the flags of India, USA and Israel. Hafiz Saeed also participated in this rally. The Pak government didn’t take any action against this. Anti-India rhetoric and firebrand speeches are common in Pakistan nowadays. As things stand, it is difficult to expect something substantial by our peace talks and attempts to normalise relations.
As far as the control of terrorism by Pakistan through American support is concerned, the American report and the provision of money for Jamaat-Ud-Daawah in the budget of Punjab have proved that Pakistan and terrorism are synonymous to each other. Since this terrorism was born, nurtured and protected in Pakistan, it becomes the duty of Pakistan to act against it either under frustration of killing of innocent people by these terrorists or under pressure from the US or as a consequence of its insult in the world.
But the intentions of the Pak government and ground situation in Pakistan are repeatedly indicating that we cannot expect much from Pakistan–at least as far as catching hold of terrorism is concerned.