Pakistan stands exposed after US declares JuD as terror outfit

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Hafiz Saeed
As the noose is tightening around LeT cheif Hafiz Muhammad Saeed after United States declared Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) as a terrorist organisation, onus is now on Pakistan Government to fulfil the promise of not letting anyone use their soil for terrorist activities. It is short in arm for India which stands vindicated on the whole issue.

US State department also said that it was the LeT who masterminded last month's attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan. The audacious attack, three days before newly elected Prime Minister's swearing-in ceremony, was an attempt to disrupt the widely acclaimed SAARC initiative taken by the Indian Government.

India has reiterated the demand to book Saeed because of his involvement in various terrorist attacks on Indian soil, most importantly 26/ 11 in which 166 people were killed and 300 were injured.

India has provided ample proof to convict LeT chief but Pakistan in turn has always turned a deaf ear to issue saying that the evidence is not sufficient. After facing heat from the International community, Pakistan arrested Hafiz in 2008. But within six months Saeed came out of jail. Since then Pakistan Government has claimed many times that they have arrested Saeed but because of lack of evidence they can't make a criminal proceeding against him.

In 2012, the former Interior Minister of Pakistan, Rehman Malik on his Indian visit said, "The insufficient information you have given, which you call evidence, will not stand the test of our courts and the (Lahore) High Court bailed him (Saeed) out. Our courts have given bail to Hafiz Saeed and said not to arrest him because there is not sufficient evidence against him."

Pakistan provided crores of monetary aid to seminary

Hafeez-led LeT which was declared a terrorist organisation by US in 2001 was also behind the 2012 attack on Army convoy in Kashmir and several other similar carnages in the State. Hafiz Saeed, on whose head US declared bounty of $10m founded LeT in 1990s for anti-terror activities. In 2002, when Pakistani Government banned LeT, Saeed revived JuD in Pakistan.

Hafiz Saeed spews venom every other day and the Pakistani Government continues to watch it as a mute spectator. Instead of cracking down, Government provides monetary aide to JuD to bolster their misdemeanor against India. The PML-N Government of Punjab province, headed by Shahbaz Sharif allocated Rs 6.1 crore to the organisation in the 2013 budget. In addition to that, Rs 35 crore was also given for other development initiatives running under JuD. Similarly, in 2010-11, 2009-10 an amount of rupee Rs 7.98 and 8.2 crore was handed over by giving the reason that Islam seminary spends this money on development and social welfare scheme. The argument given by officials that major amount of money is used for maintenance of school and dispensary is a white lie. The fact of the matter is that they use this money for terrorist activities right under the nose of Pakistani Government and the authorities does nothing about it.

Now this announcement of America has surely put Pakistan on rough wicket. The problem of Pakistan is that civilian Government acts at the behest of Military set up, ISI, and past has been a witness of it. But Pakistan must now realise that the monster they have been nurturing will ultimately eat them up and the recent spate of attacks in the country is a big example of that. What they should know is, if they will try to burn houses of others, theirs will not stay unharmed. They should not exhaust their energy and money on the terror front, rather they should use it for development purposes. Instead of raising defense budget every year, they should channelise the same money for providing goods and services to their masses who are living in a sorry state.

India should also use the golden opportunity in putting up strategic pressure on Pakistan and denude them on the International map. The diplomatic channel is ok but time has come to make them realise that our silence is not our weakness.

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