February 4, 2012

India's Most Wanted: Pak's Political Hero

If reports are to be believed, India’s most wanted terrorist and the master brain behind the Mumbai terror attack, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed might soon flex his muscles in the political arena of Pakistan, quite freely and openly. Chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah and the founder of the banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Saeed has once again kept the guessing game alive by neither accepting nor denying rumors of his political ambitions.Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Hafiz Saeed parried questions on his political future and declined to directly acknowledge if JuD would declare itself a political party and contest in the coming elections. Speculations are doing the rounds in Pakistan’s political pitch that the extremist leader would participate in the upcoming elections and would contest for the Punjab Assembly or the National Assembly.The hardliner said it was a "misconception" to consider that the JuD was not a political party given the activities of the group varying from bringing together different parties to engaging in social programs and raising awareness on different issues are definitely political in nature.Eyeing the political opportunity in the ongoing unrest in the country and in view of the forthcoming debate in the national assembly on Pakistan’s future ties with the U.S., Saeed had recently called for revenge against India, chanted the slogans of liberation of Kashmir and stepped up his anti-U.S. rhetoric once again. Hafiz Saeed addressed a rally of over 40 religious and political groups in Multan which was also addressed by Hamid Gul, former ISI chief. JuD was very instrumental in bringing together these different groups under one umbrella named Defa-e-Pakistan Council (Defence of Pakistan Council), which is a conglomerate of some 40 religious and extremist groups.Recently Hafiz Mohammad Saeed had demanded the Pakistani government to announce a date for parting ways with the US and abandoning its war on terrorism. He warned that if the government reopened NATO supply routes which were closed in November last year, the Defa-e-Pakistan Council would ‘gherao’ the parliament in Islamabad.


Meanwhile, the troubled Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has reportedly directed the Interior Ministry to counter the political activities of banned and extremist groups in the Defa-e-Pakistan Council.

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