Washington, Dec 30: Pakistan's zero tolerance policy against terrorism is questionable given its reluctance to take action against Lashkar-e-Taiba and the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attack, a US expert has said.
"How will Pakistan implement its new zero tolerance policy for extremism in the Punjab, where the Lashkar maintains its base?" wrote Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center, in an op-ed in Arms Control Wonk. Krepon was referring to the open activities of Lashkar- e- Taiba (LeT) leaders in Pakistan, despite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declaring a national action plan against terrorism in the aftermath of the terrorist attack at a school in Peshawar.
Among action plan include zero tolerance for militancy in Punjab, which is the hub of LeT. Three weeks before the mass execution of school children, Hafiz Saeed, the head of the Lashkar - rebranded as the Jamaat ud-Duwa - convened a massive public rally in an honored public square commemorating the path to an independent Pakistan, the write-up said.
"He rode to the event on a groaning white steed. No government official or security agency dared impede this rally," Krepon said. "Hafiz's relative, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, collared as the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai massacre, was granted bail from gentle custody only one day after the Peshawar slaughter, along with another declaration by Nawaz of Pakistan's enduring enmity against extremist violence," he said.
He said the state immediately acted to extend custody after this embarrassing juxtaposition, but Pakistan's judiciary is just not able to deal with those who carry out mass-casualty attacks against India. "No less than seven judges have sat on the hot seat during unhurried judicial proceedings against Lakhvi. Taking on the TTP is now job one; if there is a game plan to deal seriatim with the ISI's deadly offspring, the LeT will be last in line," Krepon said.
"For now, Pakistan is the recipient of the world's condolences. If the LeT carries out another mass slaughter in India, triggering a nuclear-tinged crisis, condolences will be replaced by condemnation," he said.