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  1. Is Nawaz Sharif using Hafiz Saeed arrest drama to change his political fortunes

Is Nawaz Sharif using Hafiz Saeed arrest drama to change his political fortunes

The reported 'arrest' of international terrorist Hafiz Saeed by Pakistani government has been interpreted in different ways.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: February 2, 2017 3:17 PM
hafiz saeed, hafeez saeed, let, 26/11 attack, 26/11, nawaz sharif, sharif, india, pakistan, jud, trump, donald trump, trump visa ban Hafiz Saeed arrest drama is being orchestrated at a time when Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is facing a huge credibility crisis. (PTI file)

The reported ‘arrest’ of international terrorist Hafiz Saeed by Pakistani government has been interpreted in different ways. While one view says Pakistan has arrested Saeed to escape the wrath of US President Donald Trump, who has banned entry of people from several Muslim countries into America for 90 days, another view claims Pakistan has taken the decision under the pressure from India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Trump.

There is also a third view which claims that the Hafiz Saeed arrest drama is just a sham. For the record, Pakistan had put Saeed under house arrest, just like now, in the aftermath of Mumbai 26/11 attacks in 2008 and briefly again in 2009.

Pakistani newspaper Dawn provides a fourth view to Hafiz Saeed arrest drama by bringing in the Chinese angle. China has invested heavily in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Arguing that Saeed is a “direct threat” to India-Pakistan relations, Dawn says, “The last thing China wants as it pushes forward with CPEC is an India-Pakistan relationship on tenterhook.”

Interestingly, world media has missed to point out that arrest drama is being orchestrated at a time when Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is facing a huge credibility crisis. His alleged “Panamagate” deals are being probed by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

By putting Saeed under house arrest, Sharif apparently wants to send a message to the world, particularly to the US and India, that he is sincere about taking on terrorism. At home, Sharif’s action can boost his image among Pakistani citizens who stand against terrorism.

Sharif administration is also using the Saeed arrest drama to attack the opposition parties. The Dawn reports an unnamed spokesperson of Pakistan’s interior ministry as saying that no action was taken against previous governments for “some reasons”.

Had Sharif been sincere about tackling terrorism, he should have handed over the JuD terrorist, who masterminded the 26/11 attacks, to India.

In recent months, Saeed had also organised open rallies against India in Pakistan. He keeps on poisoning Pakistani minds against India openly. There were reports earlier that terrorists like Saeed are unofficially the main power centres in Pakistan and the country can’t openly act against them. The arrest drama, hence, puts question mark on Sharif’s intentions.

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