Saeed to Lakhvi: Arrests in Pakistan more protective than preventive
New Delhi, Jan 05: Last year in October just before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) met, Pakistan decided to jail Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief, Hafiz Saeed. This year it was no different and before the FATF plenary votes to decide whether Pakistan remains on the grey list or is moved to black list, Pakistan arrested the operational commander and one of the masterminds of the Mumbai 26/11 attack, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
Pakistan has been under immense monitoring by the global watchdog. A top official tells OneIndia that this appears to be a routine exercise. In Pakistan, such persons are arrested ahead of possible international action. We do not read much into this and there appears to be no seriousness by Pakistan to curb the terror menace. These are just showcase actions, the official said.
Lakhvi, who was on bail since 2015 in the Mumbai attack case, was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD). However, the CTD did not mention his place of arrest.
The official cited above says that these are just eye-wash actions. The arrest comes at a time when a court in Pakistan ordered the immediate release of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and three others, all convicted for the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. Sheikh was cleared of murder charges, his death sentence had been reduced to 7 years and he was under preventive detention.
The preventive detention was also struck down by the court, following which Sheikh was ordered to be freed. It was only after the US fumed that Sheikh was back behind bars.
In February, Pakistan decided to ban the Jamaat-ud-Dawa which is the financial wing of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. There have been scores of instances in the past when such action was taken, but Saeed always got away scot free. Indian officials have often said that the arrests are more protective than preventive in nature. The arrests are aimed at protecting their asset rather than preventing them from acting against India.
Both the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court had cleared the JuD in the past and allowed it to operate. While the bans have been in place in the past as well, the JuD has always managed to overcome it either by going to court or carrying out its activities by coming up with newer outfits.
The JuD is the parent group of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. However in the year 2000, there was another parent group of the Lashkar which was known as the Markaz Dawa wal-Irshad. This was the group that carried out the alleged charity work and raised funds for the Lashkar.
Paksitan's eye wash was evident in the year 2008. It sealed 100 offices of the JuD and even Saeed was placed under house arrest only to be released later. During all this Pakistan made a shocking statement in which it stated that there was no need to issue any notification banning the JuD when the UN has already added it to the list of banned outfits.
There was some more eye wash by Pakistan. It claimed that it had sealed the 200 acre campus of the JuD in Murdike. It also stated that an administrator in Pakistan had taken over the operational facility of the JuD.
All this led to the JuD seeking legal recourse. The petition drafted by top bureaucrats of Pakistan sought a directive to first release Saeed who was under house arrest. The court allowed the petition and in the days to come even the ban on the JuD was lifted.
It is quite surprising that the Pakistan government was asked to return the property of the JuD and also its other assets when there was never any official notification Pakistan has failed to act on the six important action items stipulated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), New Delhi had said in October.
India further accused Islamabad of aiding and abetting cross border terrorism, smuggling of arms and narcotic substances. Delhi also said that Pakistan has been using drones and quadcopter to facilitate smuggling.