By Hamid Waheed
America announced a bounty of US $10 million on Pakistan based Jama'at-ud-Da'wah(JuD)’s leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. The announcement came through US Under Secretary of state Ms. Wendy Sherman during her visit to New Delhi on April 02. This was followed by US Justice Department posting the announcement on their official website. Pakistan in its first official response to the bounty, said that Washington needed to provide “concrete evidence” if it wants the government to act against Saeed. Prime Minister Of Pakistan Gilani said that “the United States should have informed Pakistan before taking such a action because there is no solid evidence against Saeed.” He added that if the U.S. has solid evidence, it should share it with Pakistan, which has an independent judiciary. Mr. Gilani made the comments to parliament, which re-convened to debate a new framework for ties with the United States. On the other side Hafiz Saeed came open in a press conference saying “I am here, I am visible. America should give that reward money to me, “I will be in Lahore tomorrow. America can contact me whenever it wants to.” he told reporters, mocking Washington for placing a bounty on a man whose whereabouts are no mystery.
Most of the critics say that timing and place of bounty announcement show American desire to please India and curtail Difa- e -Pakistan’s efforts against drones and NATO supply. However, like American misadventures in Abbottabad operation this may turn out to be another miscalculated foreign policy fiasco. Tactically killing bin Laden was an emotional triumph for the US but strategically it clearly has dented relationship with Pakistan and damaged objectives of all collation partners involved in War against Terror. State department spokesperson Ms. Nuland talking on procedure of announcing bounty said “My understanding is that the primary work that is done before we offer these rewards is internal, we do advise affected governments that we intend to do this” but Pakistan’s response show more of misunderstanding on her part.
Another concern shown by journalists in US State department briefings made spokesman Mark. C. Toner defensive, when he was asked as to why US is putting tax payer money when there is no credible information to convict. A journalist asked that “the reasons given are fairly old reasons, including that he is suspected of masterminding the Mumbai attacks. That was three and a half years ago, I mean, why would it take years to decide to put him on the Rewards for Justice Program?” If there is not any evidence, why is this guy a wanted terrorist? On the other side Hafiz Saeed has said he is ready to face "any American court" to answer the charges. Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that Islamabad will act against Saeed and Makki if evidence is provided against them. Pakistani court has acquitted Hafiz Saeed on many occasions and in many cases due to lack of evidences against him. On October 12, 2009, the Lahore High Court quashed all cases against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and set him free. The court also notified that Jama'at-ud-Da'wah is not a banned organization and can work freely in Pakistan. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of two judges hearing the case, observed "In the name of terrorism we cannot brutalise the law." If the bounty announcement has any links to proof which India say it has, lets put the record right. India’s own investigations on Samjhota Express pointing fingers to Pakistan resulted in involvement of local Indians like Col Prohit as their investigation matured. There is no derth of such examples just study let us only recollect 2007, Mecca Masjid Blast on May 18 when 14 people died, Ajmer Sharif Blast on October 11. This shows a glimpse of investigation handling in India, the larger story can be summarized in what a human right activist and Mumbai advocate Mihir said,” It is believed that CBI is seeking directions from the home ministry to see the Ajmer, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and other blasts in conjunction after there has been no conclusive evidence of the involvement of Islamic groups”.
After Russian occupation of Afghanistan Lashkar e Toiba (Let) was raised in 1984 in Kunar to fight the aggressors. This occupation was a prelude to Russian desire of reaching the warm waters and next phase had to move through Pakistan. The US – Pak National interests coincided and full support was provided to this organization. In the aftermath of success US left Pakistan at its own to deal with such organizations. LeT a small organization of about 4000 odd members decided to support oppressed Muslims of Indian held Kashmir (IHK). Pakistan also did not check as it provided a counter to Indian interference in its neighbours. 9/11 decade brought another change in foreign relations and the New World Order rejected all such movements and linked them with Al-quida (ALQ), US declared LeT as Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) in 2001 and Pakistan banned its activities in 2002 . Where it was easy decision for US, Pakistan which had to implement had to face problems as the region went into destabilization mode due to 9/11. Pakistan’s take from
here on followed a systematic approach to shift the orientation of modest faction of this organization towards welfare of countrymen and take strict actions against hard liners after 26/11 at Mumbai. These measures forced hard liners to join the moderate group. The welfare faction , Jamat ud Dawa (JUD) is functioning under Hafiz Saeed who publically condemns Mumbai attacks. They run 163 schools and 4 colleges for almost 44000 students. In health sector it provides 6 hospitals , over hundred dispensaries and ambulance services. Its contributions in floods and earthquake are recognized by the world. JuD came to limelight during 2010 Floods of Pakistan. Even the USAID chief Rajiv Shah visited a Sukkur relief camp supposedly run by Falah-i-Insaniat (FI), the relief organ of Jamaatud Dawa. Mr. Shah donated two trucks of relief goods on behalf of US aid to the camp.
The hallmark of civilized societies is marked by rule of law for anyone and everyone with logics, arguments and fairness. As we proceed in this unipolar world each day unfolds a new challenge for our generation and question our decision to join the reversal of liberty which we inherited through struggle of generations. The buzz word is let the system survive, yes we must if we see it is proceeding in right direction even at snail speed but if it is in wrong direction we may be cultivating tough tomorrow for coming generations. The rule of powerful rush in where the Law and logic fail to tread. The most to suffer is the advanced society where the statue of liberty laughs when basic rights of its own citizen are put at stake in name of fight against terror and force them to remain silent on such illogical logics.