Saeed is a linchpin and guru of Pakistani terror activities.
Earlier this week Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had said that charity outfits run by Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed will be taken over by the government. This is good news as the funds collected by these so-called charities, among them the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, have long been thought to be conduits for terrorist activities, specially against India.
However, given the record of the Pakistani authorities in tackling Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks by Pakistani nationals in collaboration with the Inter-Services Intelligence, statements like these are likely to be greeted with deep scepticism even in Pakistan.
Saeed is a linchpin and guru of Pakistani terror activities. He is under sanction by the United Nations’ 1267 Committee, which seeks to run international terrorists to ground. And yet, the Pakistan government has not been able to collate evidence against him that can stand in a court of law in Pakistan.
But now, by making the appropriate noises, Pakistan is hoping to placate the Americans and bring back its relationship with the US, which have been continually downhill for some years, back to an even keel. Washington had said last week that Saeed should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
There is not much chance of that happening. Therefore, Mr Abbasi has effectively taken a rain check. He has said that the US could charge him internationally if there was substance to the accusations against him. This is a copout. The system in Pakistan is likely to strain every nerve to ensure that the JuD leader doesn’t come to grief.