For the all-powerful Pakistan Army, which runs the anti-India jihad, the JuD leader appears to have attained totemic status.
In Pakistan, anti-India terrorists and their gurus will find the safest haven imaginable, and this is the case with Hafiz Saeed, founder of Jamat-ud-Dawa, from which Lashkar-e-Tayyaba flows as its strike arm. Here is the man who is the spiritual guru of the 26/11 Mumbai attackers. In 2014, he was designated an international terrorist by the United States. Ordinarily, this should mean that such a person should be locked away, his assets frozen, his outfit sealed. But none of this has happened to the JuD chief, who appears to be venerated in Pakistan for being an anti-India preacher.
For the all-powerful Pakistan Army, which runs the anti-India jihad, the JuD leader appears to have attained totemic status. In the event, no authority in the country, legal or otherwise, dare touch him — except to make the right noises, sometimes, before the international community. In January this year, he was taken into a posh setting and placed under detention, which is to end this month. Pakistan’s Punjab government has been clever. It has dropped the anti-terrorism charge against the terrorist mastermind under which he was being held, and has sought his continued detention on grounds of breach of public order — which is a very different ballgame.
While the US continues to engage with Pakistan with the old warmth minus a few notches, New Delhi should seek to do business with Washington on how best it should deal with the terrorist question in Pakistan so that India-US ties continue to remain on an even keel.