Legitimising terror, the Pakistan way
New Delhi: Days after his release from the house arrest, the chief of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba Hafiz Saeed has said that he plans on contesting the elections in Pakistan in 2018.
While it is a well known fact that Hafiz Saeed is the ISI’s darling, he recently got support from Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistan president, who was instrumental in the formation of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
Experts are of the view that with the pressure to act against Saeed increasing, the best way to go about it was to legitimise the man himself. There is very little one can do with a man who has been democratically elected. At the time of the launch, the head of the MML Saifullah Khalid had underlined the role of the outfit, but had stopped short of saying what role Saeed would play.
Indian officials say that the role of Saeed was kept under wraps as he was still under house arrest at that time. The writing on the wall was very clear and the timing of the launch clearly indicated what the Lashkar-e-Tayiba had in store.
This is yet another attempt to give the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the cause of Kashmir raised by Pakistan legitimacy. In the past as well, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba has overcome several bans by changing the names of its outfit. It formed the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and termed it as a social outfit when in reality it is the financial wing of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
It is a complete miscarriage of justice, say the experts. Take for instance the head of the outfit, Khalid. He is an old member of the Jamaat and is part of its central leadership. Today he leads the MML which is only aimed at allowing terror groups access national politics. During the launch he said that this party is being launched to make Pakistan a real and Islamic and welfare state.
Those watching Pakistan closely say that there are clear signals of Pakistan being taken over by such elements. It all began with the conviction of Nawaz Sharif. This was followed by the announcement of the MML and then the release of Saeed.
The MML is also not making any bones about its association with the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. The JuD which is banned for terror funding will work closely with MML as per the disclosure of Khalid. He had said that the MML will maintain coordination with JuD and all other like-minded organisations that hold the ideology of Pakistan… we will offer them our cooperation, and accept theirs.
This party starts with an advantage as it has 2 lakh volunteers across Pakistan. Experts view the formation as a game by the ISI and army to legitimise terror groups in the country. Such moves would only give these groups the deniability factor when terror attacks are staged. Moreover declarations and bans too would be beaten with ease with such moves.