Pervez Musharraf’s latest Kashmir rant and blatant acceptance of his support to Lashka- E-Taiba and its leader Hafiz Saeed is making a lot of buzz on social media. However, this isn’t the first time that powerful people from Islamabad have made such statement. In fact, Pervez Musharraf, Jamaat-ud-dawa (JuD), which is a front organisation of LeT, chief Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin are certain deep state bigwigs who run their shops only on spewing venom against India. These terrorists or terror supporters operate freely on Pakistan’s soil. There free operation from Islamabad raises some strong questions – 1. How strong are they that they can operate freely in Pakistan even after blatantly admitting involvement in Kashmir? 2. Why can’t Pakistan act against them? 3. The US, while taking some symbolic steps like designating Hafeez Saeed and Syed Salahuddin as global terrorists, hasn’t done much on the ground – why can’t it carry out operation on the lines of eliminating Osama Bin Laden.
Musharraf, already a convicted criminal by a Pakistani court in several cases, showed the audacity to admit he is the biggest supporter of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). He further added that he is also “liked” by the militant group and the Jamaat-ud-dawa (JuD), i.e. the terror group also supports him. He didn’t consider mincing words and blatantly announced his support for LeT’s founder and 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed. He even claimed that Saeed “is involved in Kashmir” and he “supports” that involvement. It’s worth mentioning here that Musharraf himself banned LeT in 2002.
Another Musharraf-like rant maker is Syed Salahuddin- a designated a global terrorist by the United States. He had recently boasted to a Pakistani television channel about carrying out terror attacks in India along with his Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit. The US designated terrorist had in 2016 vowed to block any peaceful political resolution to the Kashmir conflict. He had even threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers. This terrorist had further said he would turn the Valley into “a graveyard for Indian forces”, and take his struggle outside Kashmir.
While Salahuddin’s acceptance had no surprising element, his defence by Pakistan did surprise many at that time. Islamabad had called USA’s move “completely unjustified” because it involved an individual “supporting the Kashmiri right to self-determination”.
Musharraf’s comments come in backdrop of Saeed’s release from house arrest. Saeed has also moved the United Nations seeking removal of his name from the list of designated terrorists. Saeed claims that there is no evidence to back the allegations against him. Saeed, a terrorist who carries a $10 million bounty on his head, hired a Lahore-based law firm to file the plea on his behalf.
However, he too openly admits to fueling tension in Kashmir. Soon after his release, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) head released a video vowing to continue fighting for ‘freedom’ of Kashmir. “I am fighting for Kashmir’s independence. I pray to god that may He help me and my community in getting the freedom for Kashmir. India is after me but all its attempted against me have gone in waste,” he had said in the video.
While it’s clear that Pakistan’s deep state is involved in carrying out attacks in India, some big questions confronting the country are: What India can do counter Islamabad-backed terror? Were surgical strikes enough? Or if the passing of resolutions in UN against Pakistan will help? Let’s wait and watch the steps taken by Modi government in future.