If we support Hafiz Saeed’s jihad, why not just say so?

Government gave what has to be one of the weakest excuses for not going after a jihadi group today. According to Minister for States and Frontier Region retired Gen Abdul Qadir, Jamaat-ud-Dawa will not be proscribed even though it has been termed a terrorist group by the United Nations because the UN did not share any evidence against with Pakistan. This is the same excuse that was given by government when the world said that Osama bin Laden was believed to be living in Pakistan. It’s the same excuse that government gave when Iran complained of militants carrying out cross-border attacks. Each time someone points to jihadis the government says, “show us the evidence!” And each time we end up eating our words. Osama bin Laden is discovered in Abbottabad. Jihadis kill Iranian soldiers. And Jamaat-ud-Dawa holds public rallies to recruit fighters and raise money for weapons for jihad. Hafiz Saed openly tells that Jamaat-ud-Dawa is carrying out jihad in Kashmir, something he says is the official policy of Pakistan government. He has also declared jihad against Israel, and his group has openly set up camps in Gaza. But still we keep saying “show us the evidence” as if we are deaf, dumb, and blind.

We know what Jamaat-ud-Dawa is, and yet we continue pretending that we don’t. So the question remains unanswered whether our inaction against jihadis is due to our being unable or unwilling. With Osama bin Laden, we have decided on incompetence as our excuse. Will we do the same with Hafiz Saeed? Or should we just be honest and admit that we support his jihad? After all, we’re already funding it.

What NGO Policy Says About Our ‘Interests’

ASWJ and JUD

NGOs have acquired a particularly bad reputation lately. In reality, NGOs serve an important role in society. First let us define what exactly an NGO is. NGO stands for ‘Non-Governmental Organisation‘:

A non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political particpation through provision of information. Some are organized around specific issues, such as human rights, environment or health.

Save the Children is an NGO, and so is Edhi Foundation. Catholic Relief Services is an NGO, and so is Islamic Relief. Each of these organisations provides important humanitarian services to people who are not receiving these services from their own government.

Unfortunately, the same government that makes NGOs necessary by failing to provide necessary services is now putting NGOs under suspicion. Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar has said that some NGOs are backed by America, Israel, and India and they were “doing something which was against Pakistan’s interest”. The Interior Minister did not however bother to tell anyone which NGOs were working against the country neither did he tell what exactly they were doing. This was left to the wild imagination.

If it is true that there are any NGOs that are doing something which is against Pakistan’s interest, we should have every right to stop them from operating. My question is why the Interior Ministry is making vague claims about unnamed NGOs backed by America, Israel, and India but at the same time completely ignores NGOs backed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that are openly doing something which is against Pakistan’s interest.

Continue reading

Is Maleeha Lodhi The Next Colin Powell?

Will Maleeha Lodhi be the next Colin Powell?

Maleeha Lodhi is in an unforunate position. Less than eight weeks ago she was appointed as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, a great honour, with a special mission to advance Pakistan’s position on Kashmir. While there she has taken a strong position that “peace needed a fast, not a slow track“. Her attempts at diplomacy at the UN are being openly undermined, however, by the words and actions from certain quarters back home.

Continue reading

Injustice System: Why We Don’t Get Cooperation From Foreign Governments

injustice

Chaudhry Nisar has requested the British government to stop Altaf Hussain from criticising Pakistan Army. Even setting aside how insecure this makes Pakistan Army look, it is a ridiculous request that will be laughed out of Whitehall. UK government will not force Altaf from criticising Pakistan Army any more than our government will force Imran from criticising NATO. However there is another matter that more properly follows legal protocol: The registration of a FIR against the MQM chief under the section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). This move may not be as entertaining to British Ministers, but it will meet the same success as the Interior Minister’s request for a simple reason: Our ‘justice’ system lacks any credibility.

Continue reading

Defending Jamaat-ud-Dawa

Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity workers

Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity workers

When government officially banned Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2002, Amir Hafiz Saeed started calling his group Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). The group kept the same leaders, members, even the same flag. To defend his actions, Hafiz Saeed’s strategy was simply to lie. In 1999, Hafiz Saeed openly talked about Lashkar-e-Taiba’s suicide attacks. Speaking to Amir Mir in 2001, Hafiz Saeed spoke as Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and said that his group’s goal was “motivating the youth to participate in jehad and using force to liberate occupied Muslim territories”. Then, when his name was added to a list of terrorists by the UN in 2008, Hafiz Saeed said “No Lashkar-e-Taiba man is in Jamaat-ud-Dawa and I have never been a chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba”. Was he lying in 1999 and 2001 or in 2008? Either way, he had to be lying at some point.

Since Lashkar-e-Taiba was forced to change its name, lying has been the cornerstone of the defense of Jamaat-ud-Dawa and it continues to this day. From one side of its mouth, the group claims that it is a welfare organisation, and from the other, it openly advocates jihad, and collects donations to support mujahideen, and organises events promoting global terrorists. The truth is that Jamaat-ud-Dawa is the jihadi version of the fake CIA vaccination campaign, using humanitarian work as a cover for its jihadi activities.

None of this is new information. Actually, it is all done under broad day light and widely reported here and in the international media. Recently, however, there appears to have been a wide spread campaign to hide the group’s true purpose, and it is not just Hafiz Saeed who is involved in the cover up.

Following new calls for shutting down the militant group, Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain defended JuD, terming it a charity. News organisations have begun filing reports that parrot claims that JuD is a “welfare group” and highlighting the group’s welfare activities while hiding or downplaying its militant activities. This has left many asking, if the state is serious about zero tolerance policy for militant groups, why the sudden PR campaign to white wash JuD’s image?

DG ISPR recently termed an insult the question whether Pakistan was capable of taking on all militants, but as long as politicians and media continue to defend Jamaat-ud-Dawa by pretending it is a welfare organisation like Edhi Foundation despite the obvious reality, what is the world supposed to think?