Hafiz Saeed's Release Reaffirms One's Belief in "Dog's Tail" Proverb
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Hafiz Saeed's Release Reaffirms One's Belief in "Dog's Tail" Proverb

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: Hafiz Saeed, co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and the chief or amir of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, / Source: The UnReal Times

Image Attribute: Hafiz Saeed, co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and the chief or amir of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, / Source: The UnReal Times

On November 22, 2017, Lahore High Court in Pakistan has ordered the release from house arrest of Hafeez Saeed, Islamist leader accused of masterminding the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people. He is a terrorist leader designated by both the United Nations and the United States.

Hafiz Saeed is finally released on November 23 after the Lahore court rejected the provincial government's request for a 60-day extension to his detention.

"The review board of the Lahore High Court asked the Punjab government to produce evidence against Hafiz Saeed for keeping him detained, but the government failed," Saeed's lawyer, A.K. Dogar, said.

Soon after his release from house arrest, Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) chief, Hafiz Saeed has vowed to work for the “freedom of Kashmir”.

In a video tweeted by a handle linked to the JuD hours after the board issued its order, Saeed blamed India for his detention and vowed to work for “Kashmir’s independence”, Hindustan Times reported.

The move is likely to anger American and Indian officials, who have accused Saeed of helping plan the Mumbai attacks in which 10 Pakistani terrorists rampaged through India's largest city, shooting up two luxury hotels, a Jewish center, and a train station during a siege that lasted for several days.

The head of the banned charity outfit JuD, who carries a bounty of USD 10 million announced by the U.S. for his role in terror activities, has been under detention since January this year. According to U.S. officials, JuD is a front for the banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group and has often accused Pakistan of offering a safe haven for insurgents operating in neighboring countries.

But, in a significant development earlier this month, the U.S. Congress changed a provision in a defense bill that would have required Islamabad to take steps to "significantly disrupt'' the activities of both LeT and the Haqqani network. It restricted the requirement only to the Haqqani group.

"Delinking LeT from the Haqqani group gave Pakistan the wiggle room to meet the more urgent American demand of throwing the Haqqani group under the bus while protecting its more immediate and lucrative "Kashmir masla" (issue)." - Chidanand Rajghatta | TNN | Date: Nov 23, 2017

National Defense Authorization Act 2018 (NDAA-2018), which would have required the U.S. Secretary of Defence to certify that Pakistan is acting against both LeT and the Haqqani network, was changed at the conference to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill, and LeT was removed. The bill, which includes $700 million in military aid to Pakistan for deploying forces along the Pak-Afghan border, stipulates withholding half the amount in case Islamabad fails to take demonstrable action against the terror groups.

The NDAA-2018 also makes $350 million available to Pakistan under Coalition Support Fund (CSF) contingent upon certification from the secretary of defense that Pakistan is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani Network.

Both, Government of Pakistan and the JuD have denied involvement in the Mumbai attack. American and Indian officials did not immediately comment on the court's order.

Based on reporting by Dawn, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, and Hindu Business Line

Editorial Note:

Earlier this year, in February 2017, IndraStra Global team had straightly quoted on Hafiz Saeed's house arrest - "...changing of the guard (with the appointment of new Chief of Army Staff in Pakistan) cannot rule out the fact that whole development itself could be the deceptive one."  Indeed, the overall development reaffirms one's belief in a proverb - "A dog's tail can never be straightened."