Hafiz Saeed is not Nawaz Sharif but as a citizen of Pakistan he has the same rights

Published: October 19, 2015

For the Indian media and masses, Hafiz Saeed has in many ways surpassed Dawood Ibrahim as public enemy number one.

Punjab Home Department has released a report stating that two Pakistanis are the next target of RAW, India’s intelligence agencies. The first gentleman, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, is known to the world as the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. The second man, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, is known to the world as head of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), organisations blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267. JUD and FIF are also placed on the watch list of the Government of Pakistan and are affiliated with another banned organisation called Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The report suggests that RAW intends to portray the planned attack on Sharif as retaliatory attacks by Laskhar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It is interesting to note that LeJ and PML-N have had a very hostile history. LeJ has already attempted assassinating Nawaz Sharif while he was prime minister in 1999. LeJ recently also accepted responsibility of the assassination of Punjab Home Minister, Lt Col (R) Shuja Khanzada, describing it as revenge for Malik Ishaq. TTP also has a history of attacking government officials and military personnel and in view of Zarb-e-Azab they are known to get desperate and carry out the most appalling attacks conceivable. The attack on Army Public School, Peshawar, is a great indication of that. So both terror groups have a motive and history to target the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Interestingly, earlier this year in February, the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) of Pakistan, issued a warning to all provinces of joint attacks by LeJ and TTP. So there are legitimate reasons to believe that a nexus exists between LeJ and TTP and the two can potentially carry out an attack on the prime minister.

RAW’s attempt to portray TTP as the culprit is redundant because any attack by TTP on the prime minister would automatically be deemed by our security agencies as an Indian conspiracy. In 2012, NCMC has released a circular claiming that CIA and RAW are funding TTP through Afganistan’s Riyast-i-Amoor-o-Amanat-i-Milliyah (RAAM) and National Directorate of Security (NDS) to carry out attacks in Pakistan.

In relation to Hafiz Saeed, one is more inclined to think of RAW staging an assassination in view of India’s claims of JUD’s direct involvement in the Mumbai 26/11 attacks. Furthermore, Lashkar-e-Taiba, which enjoys Saeed’s support, has been engaged in violent combat against the Indian military in Jammu and Kashmir. For the Indian media and masses, Saeed has in many ways surpassed Dawood Ibrahim as public enemy number one.

However, Saeed is also currently reported to be a potential target of ISIS. No direct confrontation is reported between JUD and any other banned outfit in Pakistan but Saeed has been addressing public rallies urging government to crack down on ISIS and hence is making enemies besides RAW as well.

It cannot be emphasised enough that under any circumstances the security of the prime minister must be ensured specially at a stage when the country is engaged in a war against militants. The state cannot appear weak or ill prepared. An attack on the elected prime minister would be a blow to the nation’s morale.

On the other hand, though it is not fitting to equate Hafiz Saeed to Nawaz Sharif, but like Sharif, Saeed is also a citizen of Pakistan. Under the laws of this country and the constitution we so claim to hold dear, force can be used against a Pakistani citizen only by the law enforcement agencies and that too on orders of the Court or the government of Pakistan. If any Pakistani deems Saeed to be a terrorist then the onus is on our judicial system to punish him rather than hope for foreign intelligence agencies to take him out. Saeed and JuD are not the only the examples of the non-implementation of the National Action Plan.

Those who support public hangings and want every terrorist and sympathiser to die a painful death, need to reconsider what values they are propagating. Craving justice is not the same thing as craving blood.

For me an attack on Saeed by RAW would be more condemnable than America’s violation of our airspace and sovereignty to kill Bin Laden, who was wanted in Pakistan as well and who was not a Pakistani citizen.

If Bin Laden was allowed a safe house in Abbottabad then my grievances are against the Pakistani state, which has a legacy of mucking up things with flawed policies but that does not justify American interference. Though, many have claimed that Pakistan was in on it all along and the Obama administration was too selfish to share the credit for killing the world’s most wanted man. Similarly, if Hafiz Saeed is allowed to operate freely then my grievances are again against the Pakistani state but that would not justify Indian or any foreign interference at any cost.

One can only hope that our law enforcement agencies can do a proper job of effectively protecting those citizens which should be protected by law, and indicting and convicting those who deserve it under the law.


Jibran Nasir

A lawyer and civil and political rights activist. He is the co-founder of Elaj Trust, Pakistan For All and Never Forget Pakistan. He tweets @MJibranNasir (twitter.com/MJibranNasir)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.


    moral of the article-uncle sam hafeez saeed is our 1st line of defense against isis. pakistan should realise u cant fool the kid with same lollypop forever. stop sponsering terror instead doing pr campaign for DR,.ENGG.PROFESSOR SCIENTIST MAULANA HAFEEZ SAEEDRecommend

  • Videlicet

    Agree with you on your sentiment about Pakistan’s sovereignty.
    But since Pakistan’s government is reluctant to take any action against terrorist elements (OBL, H Saeed et al.), or, more likely, afraid of the repercussions, others (CIA, RAW) are trying to help.Recommend

  • Brutus

    Don’t worry, both are safe. Sharif is safe because RAW chief must be mad to target him and Saeed is safe because he is under greater security than Sharif himself.Recommend

  • rama

    What a skewed logic, Pakistan don’t have guts to convict him and don’t want rest of the world to convict themRecommend

  • Animal Farm

    Hafiz Saeed is targeted by RAW….Here is the proofRecommend

  • cautious

    “For me an attack on Saeed by RAW would be more condemnable than
    America’s violation of our airspace and sovereignty to kill Bin Laden”

    Vast majority outside of Pakistan would argue that attack on both are/would-be justified – you simply don’t have a sovereign right to provide sanctuary to terrorist.Recommend

  • Last Word

    Well, an interesting and fair analysis. However, no Indian would ever agree that pro-India Nawaz Sharif can be targeted but the same may not hold true for JuD chief who is most hated person in the country. India supporting TTP is a totally absurd allegation without any proof and the former after LTTE debacle has decided as a state policy not to support any terrorist organisation. However, Pakistan after being accused and sermoned for proxy war by all neighbours and Western countries decided to counter the same and also justify its decades old policy. Pakistan in its new policy started playing the victim card accusing neighbours especially India of waging proxy war and meddling in its internal affairs without providing any proof which it claims to have given directly to UN. Pakistan’s wild allegations may not find any takers including US and UN due to its past track record and without any solid evidence. US recently admonished Pakistan for proxy war against India and Afghanistan and promised India to jointly fight LeT and Haqqanis as well. Pakistan, who is totally obsessed with India especially Kashmir needs to focus on its failing economy. Pak establishment who dictate country’s foreign policy can play a big role with change of mindset and having friendly relations with India which will drastically reduce its enormous defence expenditure that leaves little money for education, industries and infrastructure.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    And you complain about Investment pull out of Pakistan .Recommend

  • curious2

    The combination of a broken judicial system, rampant corruption, and record of using terrorist as strategic assets punches big holes in the authors arguments. Outsiders have concluded that terrorist who focus on outsiders are ignored in Pakistan – whether that’s OBL, Saeed or the Haqqani. Ignoring those terrorist is akin to giving them sanctuary – it’s likely that the countries being attacked by these terrorist will view any attack on them as their sovereign right of defense.Recommend

  • Al

    Hafiz Saeed has the same rights?
    What about Ahmadis?Recommend

  • rationalist

    “Hafiz Saeed is not Nawaz Sharif but as a citizen of Pakistan he has the same rights”

    Of course. Why not, when non-citizen such as Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, Zawahiri have been given state protection and sustenance?

    PS: A state’s sovereignty ends when it violates the sovereignty of another state.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    First of all, there is no law in Pakistan. Your Supreme Court regularly uses Indian judgements. One of the judgements which was used by Pakistani Supreme Court is the Basic Structure doctrine, which is a landmark judgement by the Indian Supreme Court. This concept of Basic Structure says Contitution’s basic structure cannot be changed by anyone and any institution. No laws can be made to violate the basic structure.



    Last year your military and politicians basically thrashed the Pakistani supreme court’s basic structure verdict by creating Military courts. They did this by altering the Consitution, which the basic structure judgement was meant to avoid.

    There is no meaning for Law in Pakistan. In civilized socieities, Judicial systems interpret the Constitution and can strike down any legislation which goes against it. In Pakistan, the Army can do anything it wants to like setting up those Military courts, which is another name of Kangaroo Courts. They can use these courts to justify military take overs which happened about 15 years ago by Mushraff.

    But, will international terrorists like Hafiz Saeed ever be tried in these kangaroo courts? Never.

    How about Dawood who is hiding in Karachi? Never.

    The new Afghan Taliban chief residing in Pakistan? Never.

    If head of TTP was miraculously captured, would he be allowed to strand trial? Of course not. He would be shot dead on sight, without a trial or due process.

    Pakistan is a jungle raj. Protecting Terrorists like Hafiz Saeed in non-existing and often contradictory laws is pure evil. I can’t believe the supposed liberals are using non-existing ideas of Contitution and Law to justify protecting Terrorists like Hafiz Saeed.Recommend

  • Raj – USA

    Pakistan’s army establishment is facing increased heat from USA and India on Hafiz Saeed. Pakistan’s army establishment cannot punish Hafiz Saeed because he has so many secrets and would reveal them causing huge damage to the Establishment. So, Pakistan’s army establishment has decided to kill Hafiz Saeed and to make it palatable for Pakistanis has come up with theories on RAW targeting Hafiz Saeed and Nawas Sharif.

    Hafiz Saeed was unhappy with Ufa statement which the Army had cleared. He told the Army that if Kashmir is not included in discussions with India, he would not be able to prevent his cadres from joining ISIS. Pakistan’s Army gave in and forced Nawaz Sharif to retreat from Ufa joint declarations. Simultaneously Hafiz Saeed also activated Hurriyat group to hold demonstrations in India and raise Pakistan’s flag along with ISIS flag.

    Read this:


    Hafiz Saeed has been declared a wanted terrorist by US and UN and there are UN sanctions on him. He cannot travel outside Pakistan and even go on Umrah to Saudi Arabia. US has $10 million bounty on him. Pakistan equates Hafiz Saeed to its own elected Prime Minister !!!!!!Recommend

  • Ab-e-Sin

    You’re the right kind of Liberal Mr.Nasir, not like those Pakistan-bashing Tarek Fatah-type liberals who just want to erase Pakistan off the world map.


  • SuperNeo™

    I love the Picture of this bloggy blog…. two personalities equally respected in Pakistan.. LOLRecommend

  • Omar Khan

    RAW failed in Balochistan and will fail again IA.

  • Linux Novice

    Seems Osama Bin Laden was also granted Pakistani citizenship! A safe heaven for internationally wanted terrorists.Recommend

  • kartikey mishra

    We know that very well all terrorists are Pakistani citizen.Recommend

  • SamSal

    Ok, thank you.
    This is a Pakistani site, so for security reasons you might want to stay away from it.

    And you know what, I am not going to comment on Indian citizens. Pakistanis know better than that!Recommend

  • Nasir

    Not surprised that many Indians are completely missing the point of the author… All he is saying is that extra-judicial killings are wrong (including those staged by Pakistani police/etc) . Not a particularly controversial opinion.

    Those who think he is supporting terrorists should read his other blogs:


  • Pyaazriwal

    The truth is this that Pakistani state government is worried about Hafiz Saeed and if they say that his life is under threat the world community will immediately raise finger on Pakistan so to add PM Nawaz name was their compulsion.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Under the law he does……but is the law dispensed freely and fairly ? or is their one law for the rich and powerful and the same for those with the capacity to intimidate the judiciary……and another for the poor. You being a lawyer knows the answer better than most. Recommend

  • shahzaib

    what you mean ? ahmadis are not muslim so same rights as hindus have in pakistanRecommend

  • Vish

    “For me an attack on Saeed by RAW would be more condemnable than America’s violation of our airspace and sovereignty to kill Bin Laden”. Funny logic for a lawyer or maybe trying to obfuscate the elephant in the room viz. violation of Pakistani sovereignty by American drones to kill Pakistani citizens. Looks like that is acceptable to lawyer sahib.Recommend

  • rationalist

    There is one other possibility. It is that, finally, the Deep State may have come to the conclusion that Hafiz Saeed has become more of a burden (diminishing returns) than a useful proxy asset and thus may have decided to eliminate him. That may be the reason that the Establishment is constructing an advance story to put the blame on the Indians. Two birds in one stone- eliminate an increasingly burdensome figure, implicate India.Recommend

  • http://solomon2.blogspot.com/ Solomon2

    “For me an attack on Saeed by RAW would be more condemnable than America’s violation of our airspace and sovereignty to kill Bin Laden, who was wanted in Pakistan as well and who was not a Pakistani citizen.”

    A Pakistani lawyer venturing into this subject should recall U.N. Security Council Chapter VII Resolution 1373, which makes it the binding sovereign obligation of member-states to combat terrorists, terror-training camps, terror-financing, etc. on their territory. No action to do so means sovereignty is nulled with regard to other nations fighting terrorists on Pakistani territory. That’s why NATO can send drones to attack terrorists at will in parts of Pakistan outside State control without consulting Pakistan’s government. That is why America could send its SEALS to Abbottabad to operate against Osama bin Laden without this being a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty recognized by other countries.Recommend

  • Omer Khayam

    do India have guts to convict Samjhota Express culprits, RSS,BJJ and other extremist hindu terrorist organisation
    u people call r so damn scared tht u cant even comment with ur real identity Recommend

  • Omer Khayam

    why u guys dont talk about state sponsored terrorism in Kashmir,Punjab and Assam.
    and why u people are reluctant to punish extremist hindu terrorist organisations like RSS,BJJ and Shiv Sena
    do India have guts to punish Samjhota Express culpritsRecommend

  • maynotmatter

    India wants him alive, not dead. He is of no use dead.Recommend

  • Sane

    Then who is killing Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Dillats in India. Do they have dual nationality.Recommend

  • Sane

    Why Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to be convicted? He did not commit any crime, rather to welfare work to a very large scale for all Pakistanis irrespective to religion and beliefs. Take care of your PM Modi who is accused murderer and under trial criminal in Indian courts and even a case of murder against him is registered in UK very recently.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    So? You guys are bombing your own people. 2 million IDPs, homeless and poor due to the actions of your Army.
    3 million Bengalis killed/raped in 1971. Hypocrites.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    If countries India and US use law to justify actions then its understandable. But, Pakistan?
    There is a Pak Supreme Court judgement which says basic structure of Pakistani Constitution should not change, yet this was ignored and military courts were set up with a Consitutional ammendment.
    Any law can be broken in Pakistan by Army. In the absence of civilian supremacy/
    Pakistan is a signatory to the UN and Hafiz Saeed is blacklisted as a Terrorist. Why is no one invoking Pakistani obligation to the UN?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    UN lists him as heading a notorious Terrorist outfit and having links to Al Qaeda.


    Modi has been tried and released without any evidence in India’s highest courts. He is NOT under trial.
    If thats the case even Jinnah is a murderer for calling Direct Action against Hindus. Why such double standards?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Then, why can’t Pakistan take action based on UN blacklisting?


    Isn’t Pakistan a signatory to the UN? I thought you guys were big fans of UN Resolutions. What happened? Taste of own medicine is too bitter?Recommend

  • Ikramullah, Lahore

    India never kill either Nawaz or Hafiz Saeeeed, cos in their names India manage to kill trade, sports, goodwill, honour of Pakistan with heavy losses running to billions.Recommend

  • roheen

    Im from Assam, what state sponsored terrorism??Recommend

  • Videlicet

    You are missing the point. We are not talking about Muslim- Nonmuslim killings. We are talking about one country trying to bring to book perpetrators of crime residing in another country who committed crimes in the former.

    You may want to discuss the latter. If you blog about it, I’m glad to add my comments. But that is off-topic in this particular discussion.Recommend

  • revoltman

    True “A state’s sovereignty ends when it violates the sovereignty of another state.”Recommend

  • Vikram

    Dude, the perpetrator of the Samjhauta express, col Purohit, is behind bars and has been behind bars for the last 6 years. Forget putting Hafiz Saeed in Jail, you guys granted him bail and he is a free man who continues to spew venom.Recommend

  • Junaid Aslam

    India has never proven Hafiz Saeed’s hand in the Mumbai attacks. The US State Department had announced a $10 million reward under its Rewards for Justice program for anyone who can provide proof admissible in a court of law implicating him in that attack. Go to the State Department’s website and read the transcript of the daily press briefing of April 4, 2012. Spokesman Mark Toner was repeatedly pressed by journalists why the US won’t simply take the evidence needed from the Indian government, who claims it has provided all the evidence against him. He had no answer, do watch the video of that briefing and see how visibly uncomfortable Mark Toner became. Almost 4 years on, the Indian government has never provided that evidence and those $10 million are still in the State Department’s coffers.

    Also last year, the Indian government tried to open up the Mumbai attacks case in an international court. For that it prepared an 11,280-page chargesheet, and in all those 11,280 pages, Hafiz Saeed and the LeT were mentioned in only one paragraph, and there was virtually no mention of any Pakistani state institution in all of those 11,280 pages. One judge from an international court kept pressing the Indian government on this, but that government insisted it is fully satisfied with this chargesheet. See the Times Of India report from August 3, 2014 entitled “11,000-page 26/11 Mumbai attack chargesheet had one para on LeT: Book.”

    All of India’s noise against Hafiz Saeed and the LeT serves only propaganda value for public consumption. In all actual legal proceedings, India has never bothered to make the same allegations against him or his organization because it knows those allegations cannot stand any serious scrutiny by a court of law.Recommend

  • Alina

    @rationalist: “A state’s sovereignty ends when it violates the sovereignty of another state.” — You mean like when India orchestrated a large-scale terrorist insurrection in East Pakistan and then invaded directly to split Pakistan in half? Would you apply your blanket categorical statement on that case too? Or is it just meant to be selectively applied on Pakistan and the same standards do not apply on India?

    And before you try to claim self-defense and pin that Indian aggression on Pakistan too, read what your own prominent journalist Praveen Swamy has exposed about India’s real role in setting up the entire secessionist rebellion from the very beginning that elicited Pakistan’s military response: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/indias-secret-war-in-bangladesh/article2747538.eceRecommend

  • Junaid

    @Anoop: You implement the UN resolutions on Kashmiri people’s self-determination and we’ll implement UN resolutions on Hafiz Saeed’s ban, deal?

    The Gujarat police was totally under his control, and the RSS has overrun India’s justice system. That’s why the Gujarat police deliberately made an extremely weak case to prosecute Modi with, that’s why he was acquitted on lack of evidence. Ever since he became prime minister, he has turned his vengeful wrath on the activists and police officers who made the case against him and struggled for the victims (while other court cases against Hindu terrorists are being thrown out of Indian courts too).

    What the LeT is doing in Kashmir will be very hard for India to oppose on any legal grounds. It is disputed territory separated from Pakistani administered Kashmir by a Line of Control, not an international border, and the UN charter gives oppressed occupied nations the right of armed resistance, which the Kashmiris are especially entitled to since they are promised self-determination by the UN. If the US and its allies can legally assist the Libyan and Syrian rebels, Pakistan too is well within its rights under international law to assist the armed freedom struggle in Occupied Kashmir, especially if India managed to use the same reason to split Pakistan in half even though East Pakistan was not disputed territory and no self-determination UN resolutions existed in its case.Recommend

  • Alina

    There is absolutely no evidence that 3 million Bengalis were killed and raped. Absolutely none. That was a figure Mujibur Rehman cooked up when he was still in prison in West Pakistan. Later he set up not one but two commissions to investigate how many were killed in East Pakistan, those commissions established a 5-digit figure including deaths from ALL sides involved. Do not make that 3 million argument again.Recommend

  • S.W.

    The military courts are only an interim measure for two years implemented under a very pressing circumstance while the regular justice system is to be upgraded to handle terrorism. Also after 9/11, the US too severely circumvented its constitution to implement its new legal structure to handle terrorism, which is now being handled in ways completely tearing America’s constitution to shreds. And we will never implement the resolutions of any body that will very selectively apply its own writ. How was India justified in splitting Pakistan in half without a UN mandate? And no, India did not respond to something Pakistan did, India was the one who started it all: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/indias-secret-war-in-bangladesh/article2747538.eceRecommend

  • Rayhana Anwar

    “I thought you guys were big fans of UN Resolutions.” — And that is precisely why we are not implementing the one on Hafiz Saeed, not before India implements the ones on Kashmir. Either both will be implemented or neither will. Get over it.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Dude, go and read the UN Resolutions first.


    Pakistan is violating it first by not withdrawing troops from POK and handing it over to India. This is the first point in Part A.

    It says: “A.

    1. As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of
    Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council, the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State.”

    I’m tired of educating Pakistanis on this issue. Read the darn document which you guys talk about it so much. Its just 1 page.

    I can’t really blame you, seems like your own PM haven’t read it.