Zero tolerance? Zero change. That is the real result of last week’s massacre. Punjab government has given up on trying to detain terrorist leader Malik Ishaq, and Lahore High Court has order him to be unleashed upon the public again. Meanwhile, the same Court has given a last chance to the Foreign Affairs Ministry to submit their reply to the US bounty on Hafiz Saeed, who the Ministry had replied was the head of a charity and was being persecuted by the US under pressure from India. Hafiz Saeed has already given his own reply, calling for jihad against America.
Hafiz Saeed’s calls for global jihad continue, even after the so-called ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards terrorism. Following the Peshawar attack, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa emir renewed his call for jihad against India, and organised a ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind Conference’ this week.
Most Pakistanis having been steeped in the anti-India ideology promoted by hypernationlists continue to see Hafiz Saeed as anything but a threat to Pakistan, but he is projecting exactly the type of anti-Pakistan ideology that is at the core of TTP.
At the national level, they would like to impose their ideology on Pakistan. There is no place for politics and nationalism in their ideology. For them, the international borders are not Islamic. Therefore, they would go beyond national borders. The JuD leaders publicly condemn nationalism and politics.
Hafiz Saeed has publicly called the Pakistani Constitution “batil”, which is a very strong word in Islamic literature. The Mujallah Ad-Dawa published his statement in December 1999, and many other such speeches. He has repeatedly said he and his party did not believe in the Pakistani Constitution and will not follow it. His speeches and writings are available in the JuD library.
Generals and politicians continue to make strong statements about ‘zero tolerance’ for terrorism, but the facts say otherwise. In the few short days after the 16th December attack, 26/11 commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi is granted bail, Malik Ishaq is ordered released, and Hafiz Saeed holds pro-jihad conference. We are being told Peshawar attack was a ‘game changer’, but it is familiar players who are returning to the pitch.