HAFIZ SAEED UNDER HOUSE ARREST AFTER US WARNING: PAKISTAN TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST JUD AND HAFIZ SAEED?

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is modified and extended.

Reports emerging from Pakistan says Hafiz Saeed is under house arrest in Lahore and the police is raiding his terror front Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) facilities, that operate under the garb of charity. In a video clip circulating in Pakistan’s social media circles, Hafiz Saeed can be seen ranting against India, the US with his favourite Kashmir rant. In the clip he says to his supporters that today’s developments will take him further to his goals.

Earlier in the day, a Dunya News report, quoting Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Interior, had said that Pakistan would tomorrow spell out the course of action it is going to take against Hafiz Saeed and JuD. Nisar said JuD which was declared a terrorist outfit by the US last year and was under observation in Pakistan since 2010. According to the Dunya News report, Pakistan is going to take action against Jamaat in line with the UN requirements. Now that Hafiz Saeed has put been under house arrest and a crackdown on JuD facilities is going on, let’s see what Pakistan comes with tomorrow.

In December 2008, UN Security Council, under its Resolution 1267, imposed sanctions on JuD and Hafiz Saeed for supporting Al Qaeda and Taliban. India had named Hafiz Saeed, LeT and JuD as the perpetrators of the series of terrorists attacks in Mumbai in November 2008. Since then it has been an unending drama of Hafiz Saeed being put under house arrest or detained cursorily before being set free even if the US declared a bounty of $10 million on his head in 2012.

Let alone Hafiz Saeed, all other names including Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the Mumbai attacks mastermind or Masood Azhar, the Pathakot airbase attack mastermind or many others on India’s most wanted list, alleged for perpetrating countless terror acts in India, are free and even respected names in Pakistan. When international pressure demands, Pakistan does the routine sham of shielding behind its judicial process that had set Hafiz Saeed free of all terrorism charges in 2009.

It is not the first time that reports from Pakistan on banning JuD have come out. This is a regular spectacle, as recent as November 2016. Every time Pakistan clarifies that JuD has not been banned and as per the UN requirements, is under observation.

But this time, the crackdown on JuD and Hafiz Saeed has come out after the US warning that Pakistan could be added to the list of the banned countries on the US immigration list. Donald Trump administration has put a ban on immigrants from seven Muslim majority nations that are ‘most identifiable with dangerous terrorism taking place in their country’ – Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Sudan. Reince Priebus, the White House Chief of Staff, has said that countries like Pakistan that are ‘having problems similar to those seven nations’, can be added to the list in future.

That may have set alarms bells ringing in Pakistan. Though Pakistan, a habitual offender, backstabber and master of doublespeak when it comes to using terror as a policy tool, cannot be trusted, even if its Interior Minister says that action on JuD was pending, a sense of panic can be seen when we see Hafiz Saeed’s Twitter feed and his video clip.

As Twitter doesn’t allow designated terrorists like Hafiz Saeed on its platform and blocks their Twitter accounts, they keep on changing their Twitter handles. @HMSaeedOfficial is one of the Twitter handles being used by Hafiz Saeed. Saeed tweeted today from this account, “We knew this would happen when we declared 2017 the year of #Kashmir. If I am arrested, millions will continue to raise voice for #Kashmir.”

@HMSaeedOfficial
We knew this would happen when we declared 2017 the year of #Kashmir. If I am arrested, millions will continue to raise voice for #Kashmir
If we are banned for raising voice for Kashmir, then we don’t care about any such ban or restrictions.
The recent reports of JuD Ban are due to Indian pressure. In case of any such ban, we will go to courts for justice

This can well be a strategy to garner support and pressurize the Pakistan’s government to prevent from taking any strong measure against the terror mastermind or can be, again, an elaborate sham in collusion with the Pakistan’s ruling establishment and the ISI to show the world that Pakistan, at last, is going to crackdown on terror, especially after the US warning of putting it on the immigration ban list. And if it is happening so now, it can well be the first in the series of sham crackdowns.

The first option looks more likely that Saeed may be made a scapegoat (remember the US bounty on Saeed) as Saeed initially deleted his tweet from @HMSaeedOfficial page. But after some hours, he again posted it along with other tweets that show his fear of being banned. Blaming India for reports on JuD ban, he wrote that If they were banned for raising voice for Kashmir, then they didn’t care about any such ban or restrictions and they would approach the court.

To add to Hafiz Saeed’s fear, Pakistan’s The News today published a report, which says that the US has clearly told Pakistan to act against JuD after JuD’s name prominently figured in the latest report of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering or else Pakistan would be put on the list of blacklisted countries in the International Cooperative Review Group (ICRG). That will make it necessary for Pakistan to put a formal request each time it goes about transacting any business through any of the international financial institutions.

This is an early January report, before Donald Trump’s took over as the US President and now that the most clear warning to Pakistan has come from Trump’s chief of staff, the writing looks clear on the wall for Pakistan. It is for Pakistan to decide which way it wants to go. Meanwhile, according the same The News report, Hafiz Saeed has adopted a new name for his outfit, Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir.

©SantoshChaubey

MODI SAYS WALK AWAY FROM TERROR, NAWAZ SHARIF SHIELDS BEHIND K-RANT..AGAIN!

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.

As expected, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has chosen not to answer Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demand that to resume dialogue with India, Pakistan must walk away from terror. Instead, he has picked the Kashmir rant again to blame India.

Nawaz Sharif is in Davos to attend the World Economic Forum. According to the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio Pakistan report, Sharif, while talking to the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said that Pakistan invited India for talks but India did not respond.

The report says that Nawaz Sharif said that resolution of all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India including the core issue of Kashmir is imperative for durable peace in South Asia. Exporting terror in Kashmir while continuing his double speak, Nawaz Sharif said that “peace in the region is in the best interest of the people of the region”.

While playing the victim Nawaz Sharif did not forget to polish his credentials by mentioning Indian violations of the Indus Water Treaty and that how India has been thwarting Pakistan’s sincere efforts ‘for durable peace in the region’, the foremost priority of his government. While he spoke of all outstanding issues including Kashmir, he did not mention terror and India’s only demand to resume dialogue with Pakistan.

While delivering the inaugural address of the 2nd Raisina Dialogue on January 17 in New Delhi, PM Modi said that if Pakistan wanted to resume dialogue with India, it must first renounce terrorism. Modi said, “Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India”.

While saying that a thriving well integrated neighbourhood was his dream, Modi said, “My vision for our neighbourhood puts premium on peaceful and harmonious ties with entire South Asia. That vision had led me to invite leaders of all SAARC nations, including Pakistan, for my swearing in. For this vision, I had also travelled to Lahore. But, India alone cannot walk the path of peace. It also has to be Pakistan’s journey to make. Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India.”

Prime Minister Modi’s unscheduled Lahore stopover in December 2015, while returning from Afghanistan, had left everyone stunned and his unilateral move to improve ties between the South Asian neighbours was appreciated globally.

This was his one of many initiatives to improve relations with a country that has behaved as India’s sworn enemy ever since its birth in 1947, beginning with Modi’s invitation to the South Asian leaders including Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony on May 26, 2014.

But Pakistan, continuing its tradition of backstabbing India, gave Pathankot airbase attack and declared Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani a martyr and fuelled and supported the latest round of unrest in Kashmir.

Pakistan’s actions forced India to put forward the condition that the future India-Pakistan dialogue will be on the issue of terror only. Pakistan, the main sponsor of terrorism in India, obviously could not have accepted it and chose to escape, shielding behind its Kashmir rant. It said it would not go for dialogue with India until Kashmir is on the table.

Raisina Dialogue is organized jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). It is India’s geo-political conference and is aligned with India’s foreign policy priorities. Its second edition is being held in New Delhi from January 17 to 19. More than 250 global leaders from 65 nations are slated to speak at the conference which has ‘the New Normal -Multilateralism with Multi-Polarity’ as its theme this year.

©SantoshChaubey

PAKISTAN’S DEFENCE MIN AT IT AGAIN: DARES INDIA TO CONDUCT A SURGICAL STRIKE

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified and extended.

Pakistan has done it again, with its senate and top political leadership bragging about their military might and how they would teach India a lesson that would make it ‘forget making claims of even a fake surgical strike’ in Pakistan.

According to a Radio Pakistan report, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khwaja said ‘if India tried to make any effort to carry out surgical strikes in future these will be responded with full force and they will forget to carry out even faked strikes in future.’

Pakistan’s senate today passed a resolution to condemn prime minister Narendra Modi’s statement where he called Pakistan ‘mother-ship of terrorism’ without naming it. During the BRICS Summit held in Goa in October 2016, Narendra Modi had said that ‘the most serious direct threat to our eco prosperity is terrorism; Tragically, its mother-ship is a country in India’s neighbourhood’. Condemning Pakistan for using terror as state policy, Modi had said that ‘this country shelters not just terrorists. It nurtures a mindset. A mindset that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justifiable for political gains.’

Passing anti-India resolutions in Pakistan’s senate is a regular scene and, it seems, is a favourite pastime, and during one such spectacle today, its defence minister, while terming India’s surgical strike in September 2016 as fake, said that India violated the ceasefire over 300 times last year in which 45 Pakistani civilians lost their lives. He went on to aggrandize his statement to the extent to say that ‘India was also involved in such violations with other neighbouring countries including Nepal and Bangladesh’.

The resolution said that the international community had rejected ‘baseless propaganda’ by India ‘attributing terrorism to Pakistan’ and ‘the statement made by the Indian Premier was an effort to divert the attention of the International Community from the Indian atrocities against the people of Occupied Kashmir’. Continuing Pakistan’s Kashmir rant, Khawaja Asif said that ‘Pakistan will continue political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination’.

Khawaja Asif is speaking in a similar tone that he used to go with before India conducted its highly successful surgical strike deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in September 2016 destroying many terror camps and killing dozens of terrorists. The surgical strike had left Pakistan shocked to the extent that its leaders initially didn’t know how to react on it and later on toed the Pakistan’s Army line of denying the surgical strike to save their face and humiliated bravado.

Before September’s surgical strike, the favourite line of Khawaja Asif happened to be that it will eliminate India with its tactical nuclear weapons if India tried to impose war on Pakistan.

After the Uri terror strike on September 18, 2016, that killed 19 of our soldiers, most of them sleeping, Pakistan had started feeling the heat as there was intense demand in India that the country should take some decisive, concrete against Pakistan this time. To handle this, and to thwart any serious response by the Indian establishment, (and buoyed by the past precedent, when India had hesitated to take any tough measure), the Pakistani ruling elite started blackmailing and threatening India with their so-called tactical or nuclear weapons.

The same Khawaja Asif, after the surgical strike on the intervening night of September 28-29, was stuttering while accepting that there was an aggression by India and ‘if India tries it again, Pakistan will give befitting reply’ (and not that ‘Pakistan will nuke and eliminate India), before toeing the line of Pakistan’s army. He had gone on to say even this that ‘India and Pakistan cannot take risk of a nuclear holocaust’.

Today’s development in the Pakistani senate seems more of a response to the Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s warning that, if needed, India will conduct surgical strike again. Like the Uri attack had forced Pakistan to issue threats to India to thwart any counter move, General Rawat’s open warning this time might have forced the Pakistani ruling establishment to issue a veiled threat to India again.

But see what a successful surgical strike has done. The ‘befitting reply by the Pakistan’ had no mention of tactical, nuclear weapons this time.

©SantoshChaubey

PAKISTAN’S TERROR HAVENS DESTROYED? ITS ARMY CHIEF GEN BAJWA CLAIMS SO!

The article originally appeared on India Today. 

When it comes to lying in plain sight, no one can match Pakistani politicians and military officials and the sham this time have come from none other than its army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

According to a Radio Pakistan report, Bajwa called up Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani on Sunday to express solidarity with Afghanistan on its fight against terror and to condole the loss of lives in terror attacks. Claiming Afghanistan and Pakistan being ‘brotherly countries’, ‘he expressed sympathy with families of the victims and empathized on the tragic series of events that have befallen people of the both the countries over the last many years’, the report said.

The report quoting an official Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) release said that ‘Bajwa emphasized that Pakistan had come a long way in its fight against terrorism of all hue and colour and had eliminated all safe havens in the process’.

Now that is a claim that no one is going to buy including Afghanistan, a country that as recently as January 10 saw big terror attacks in Kabul, Helmand and Kandahar that killed dozens including the UAE Ambassador and four other UAE diplomats. Afghanistan blames Pakistan for continued terror attacks in the country and has raised the issue of Pakistan promoting terror in Afghanistan and harbouring terrorists in its backyard on every international platform. During the Heart of Asia Summit held at Amritsar in December, Ashraf Ghani had called for international intervention to check and stop cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.

While shedding crocodile tears, claiming it is the biggest terror victim, Pakistan uses terror as state policy very conveniently, exporting terror to India and other parts of the world and providing safe havens to dreaded terrorists from across the world, be it Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and its other members or Taliban and its chief Mullah Omar or the Haqqani network or India’s most wanted like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim or even terrorists operating in China’s Xinjiang region. It all-weather ally China is reportedly going to seal its Xinjiang border with Pakistan to control terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

India, the biggest victim of Pakistan sponsored terror, has been voicing its demand to dismantle the terror infrastructure in Pakistan. There are many launch-pads and at least 17 terror camps in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir that keep on feeding the terror machinery active in India. The SAARC Summit to be held in Pakistan in November was cancelled after other nations of the South Asian grouping had refused to join the Summit blaming Pakistan’s continued use of terror as state policy.

The US has always blamed Pakistan for fomenting terror in Afghanistan and has blamed it for giving safe havens to terror outfits like Taliban factions, Al Qaeda, LeT and the Haqqani network. James Mattis, US President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for his Defence Secretary, has warned Pakistan ‘to expel or neutralise externally-focused militant groups that operate within its borders’. In October last year, in its first ever public warning, the US had said it will go alone in destroying terror networks operating from Pakistan if Pakistan couldn’t do that and had named its all powerful spy agency ISI for actively colluding with the terror groups.

Yet, Pakistan keeps on ranting, shamelessly, that it has destroyed all terror safe havens and has no terror elements acting and spreading terror from its soil, as General Bajwa has done again.

©SantoshChaubey