The Imam of Jihadis: Why Pakistan’s actions against Lakhvi are just an eye-wash
New Delhi, Jan 09: On Friday a Pakistan court sentenced Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the operational commander of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba to 5 years in jail and also ordered him to pay a fine.
He was found guilty of extending financial help to terrorists through various umbrella businesses. He was convicted for running a dispensary as a cover for terror funding.
The United States had on Tuesday welcomed the arrest of Lakhvi on charges of terror financing, but also called for his prosecution in the Mumbai 26/11 case.
India, while reacting to the development said that this is a routine exercise and was done ahead of the crucial hearing of the Financial Action Task Force, where Pakistan is trying to wriggle out of the Grey List or doing its best to avoid being downgraded to the Black List.
For one, Pakistan would never take real action against Lakhvi, considering the clout he has on the cadres of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which the ISI's most trustworthy proxy. One must note that there has never been a rebellion by the outfit against the Pakistan establishment. While the Jaish-e-Mohammad too is an important proxy for the ISI, there has been a falling out once, when the outfit plotted the assassination of General Pervez Musharraf.
Pakistan watchers and Intelligence Bureau officials that OneIndia spoke with say that Lakhvi has and will always be asset. Lakhvi's passion for Jihad against India is what makes him such a key player for Pakistan. While Hafiz Saeed is the ideological head, it is Lakhvi who oversees the recruitment, training and planning.
He is without a doubt the most passionate jihadi in Pakistan. When it comes to a passion to attack there is none more lethal than Lakhvi is what every analyst that we spoke to would say.
Unlike a Hafiz Saeed who can preach sermons against India, Lakhvi is a field man. He is not a great planner, but what he brings to the Lashkar is that element of passion.
The manner in which he commands his forces and speaks about his passion to wage war against India has been a major draw for the Lashkar. The cadres love and respect him and they fought the fiercest of battles against India when Lakhvi was in command.
In Pakistan he is known as the imam of Jihadis. He has put his family on the battlefield and every person in the Lashkar is in awe of him for this. His two sons, Abu Qasim and Abu Qatal died fighting in Kashmir against the Indian army.
He had also instructed his wife not to lose heart after they lost their sons. In fact he instructed her to run a camp for those widows who had lost their husbands fighting in Kashmir.
These are the factors that have added to his reputation and hence is considered to be the most passionate jihadi of Pakistan. Even the Pakistan establishment realizes this and hence have very reluctantly kept him behind bars.
Some of his statements against India are a clear indicator of why he is loved so much in Pakistan. He had said that his primary agenda was the destruction of India. He also said that the entire network of the Lashkar would be extended into India.
He was the same one who said before the Kargil war that a war against India was on the cards. He said that it was time to prepare for the disintegration of India.
On November 29, 2012, India posed a question to Pakistan about Lakhvi having become a proud father. When he was arrested in 2009 for the 26/11 there was no mention of him being a father of a new born child. However, in the year 2010. while he was still in jail, he announced the good news to several of his accomplices including Abu Jundal. However, there was no response from Pakistan.
India also confronted Pakistan with more proof about him being meted out privileges while in jail which included orderlies and also a television set and communication access. None of these questions have got an answer as yet. Pakistan found him so important and chose to dole out goodies to him including an alleged conjugal visit only goes on to show what sort of high esteem he is held in.