Hafiz Saeed: Missing pieces?
Hafiz Saeed, a mujahid and philanthropist in the eyes of many Pakistanis is basking in the limelight thrown on him by the US State Department when it placed a $10 million reward for information leading to his conviction under the Reward for Justice Programme. Saeed’s followers point towards the fact that because he demanded for the closure of the Nato supply route, the personal vendetta has been unleashed.
The reality, however, is not that simple. Lashkar-e-Taiba, believed to be a militant arm of Jamatud Dawa, was designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in December 2001 by the US while its successor, Jamatud Dawa, was designated as foreign terrorist organisation in December 2008.
Why was this cash reward announced now, when indictments were issued against the mercurial cleric back in 2008 and 2001? What new actions, if any, have Hafiz Saeed, Abdul Rehman Makki and their organisations taken to provoke the fresh reprisals? Does Washington or New Delhi have knowledge of something the public is unaware about?
The questions need to be understood and answered.
A) One can assume that some concrete evidence might have emerged linking Hafiz Saeed to al Qaeda. Thus, Saeed can be a danger to US interests and individuals.
B) After placing Saeed and his organisations under sanctions, the next logical step was a cash reward but it should have been announced long before.
C) New Delhi and Washington, like most western capitals, consider Hafiz Saeed to be an extension of a Pakistani establishment so the move could be seen as a retaliatory measure by Washington against people who are a threat to Nato supplies and other US interests.
D) The announcement is a genuine US effort to remove the most potent irritant hampering the Indo-Pak peace that Washington considers so vital to its interests as peace between the two countries can guarantee continued Pakistani troop presence in Fata.
New Delhi , time and again, has made it clear that unless the perpetrators of Mumbai are brought to justice, there can be no peace between India and Pakistan. For Indians, it’s more than rhetoric because their constituencies would never allow them peace without justice for Hafiz Saeed and his organisations.
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