After months of a sham of a house arrest of 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind international terrorist Hafiz Saeed, a Judicial Review Board of Pakistan’s Punjab province on Wednesday ordered his release. That democracy exists in the country just to serve the nexus of Pakistan’s judiciary, terrorists and military establishment has been talked about a lot in the past across the world. After months of drama over Saeed’s arrest, a few things are getting clear: First, Pakistan doesn’t bother about world opinion. Second, judiciary in the country may also be hand-in-glove with terrorists. This became evident when the Judicial Board rejected the government’s plea that the detention of Hafiz Saeed be increased. Instead, the board said, “The government is ordered to release JuD chief Hafiz Saeed if he is not wanted in any other case.”
Third, there is a $10 million bounty on Saeed’s head put by the US. His organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people. Pakistan’s failure to prosecute Hafiz Saeed, however, shows again that terrorists are more powerful than the government in the country.
Hafiz Saeed and his four aides – Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain – were detained by Punjab government for 90 days under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Fourth Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 on January 31 this year. The move was seen as Pakistan’s bid to send a message to the world that it was serious about acting against terrorists operating from its territory. However, the four aides of the international terrorist were released in the last week of October. Hafiz Saeed is a free man now.
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The move to release Saeed comes even when Pakistan was fearing international sanctions for doing this. A Punjab Home Department official had told the review board that Saeed’s release may lead to imposition of international sanctions on Pakistan.
For long, Pakistan has been claiming to be fighting against terrorism. However, terrorists from Pakistan continue to attack India. In September this year, India had rightly exposed Pakistan as ‘terroristan’. Pakistan’s PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had then accused India of indulging in terror activities against Pakistan.
Abbasi’s lie, however, was thoroughly exposed by Indian diplomat at the Permanent Mission to UN Eenam Gambhir. While exercising India’s right to reply, Gambhir had said, “It is extraordinary that the state which protected Osama Bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar should have the gumption to play the victim. By now, all Pakistan’s neighbours are painfully familiar with these tactics to create a narrative based on distortions, deception and deceit. This august Assembly and the world beyond know that efforts at creating alternative facts do not change reality.”
“In its short history, Pakistan has become a geography synonymous with terror. The quest for a land of pure has actually produced “the land of pure terror”. Pakistan is now ‘Terroristan’, with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism. Its current state can be gauged from the fact that Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, a leader of the UN designated terrorist organization Lashkar-i-Taiba, is now sought to be legitimized as a leader of a political party. This is a country whose counter terrorism policy is to mainstream and upstream terrorists by either providing safe havens to global terror leaders in its military town, or protecting them with political careers.”