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Life in the Age of Hafiz Saeed

by Newsweek Pakistan

Sajjad Qayyum—AFP

Is Islamabad sincere in its actions against the militant commander?

After years of dithering, Islamabad has finally been scared straight by the global anti-terrorist consensus and restrained—under Section 11-EEE(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1977—Hafiz Saeed, chief of the dreaded Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a metamorphosed Lashkar-e-Taiba that is reportedly still targeting U.S. forces inside Afghanistan. He’s unlikely to stay detained for very long; he has more money than any other religious leader and finances the Defense of Pakistan Council, which hits the road every time the government relaxes its stance on the “Kashmir dispute.”

Saeed has been put under house arrest at Lahore’s Masjid Qadisya, his headquarters, named insultingly for the town of Qadisiya, where the Arab Muslim army defeated Iran in the early days of the faith. He will likely be shifted to his Johar Town residence, where he lives in even more comfort. Last April, nothing came of the “discovery” that he had been running stealth courts across Pakistan in violation of the country’s Constitution, passing out judgments in 5,550 cases in Lahore alone. Pakistan is his empire on the basis of jihad, which the state continues to secretly endorse.

The U.N. dubbed Saeed a terrorist years ago and the U.S. has a $10 million bounty on his head, but Pakistan’s courts lack the resources to restrain or punish him for continuing to head jihadi outfits under ever-changing names. His violent rhetoric, often targeting India, is a persistent smear against Pakistan in the eyes of a world scared by militancy.

In 2008, 160 people were shot dead in Mumbai by militants who have confessed details that should have sufficed to hang Saeed, but Pakistan’s establishment enjoys his brainless anti-India rhetoric and has given him free rein to spread his tentacles. He is rumored to have 200,000 men deployed these days in Tharparkar and Balochistan “conquering” people that Pakistan doesn’t like. He heads the largest charity in Karachi, where he also runs a university in addition to thousands of schools and kindergartens all over Pakistan.

Details of Hafiz Saeed’s house arrest will soon reach a world now determined to demand action from Pakistan. Whether Islamabad can convince them of its sincerity could determine whether or not we will have to spend years in isolation.

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Engr.Moaaz February 3, 2017 - 1:46 pm

when i read your writeup i was thinking that if their could be any limit of exaggeration or lie.

1- Stealth Courts: They are actually panchaiti system in order to resolve small cases like divorce and misconduct at very local levels with the involvement of elders from both sides, just like Jirga in Northern areas.

2- Bounty:- Please read the American state department announcement in detail that the bounty money will be given to one who will provide any credible evidence against Hafiz Saeed, this is unjustifiable to put bounty in one man even when u r not having any evidence.

3- Mumbai Attacks:- The lone survivor if he could be an evidence against Hafiz Saeed then why he was hanged in Hurry. Still today Indian Government is denying to send witness for cross verification in Pakistani Courts.

Please If you want to blame on anyone atleast do some research before writing anything. Dont ever try to paint every narrative with one which is scripted and endorsed forcefully in your minds.

Ahmed February 3, 2017 - 2:05 pm

This is ridiculous, even US Ambassador Munter said that this was not bounty and reward for justice money, which means that someone bringing court admissable evidence will get the money. Which means, US doesn’t have evidence against Hafiz Saeed. This write up is full of bias and empty from any facts.

Bashir February 3, 2017 - 2:18 pm

Totally misleading article
Your article is shows clearly that you are on chankia payrol.
every one knows that Hafiz is the loudest voice in the world agaist Indian and american atrocities & voilence in Kashmir and iraq, afghanistan and all over the world you both under the ambrella of so call un made daesh and ttp. Evidence have been provided to all concerned. This is war and Pakistan has defeated first Ussr & know chopping US, and india.
Every Pakistani is #Hafiz Saeed 🙂

Now use burnol 🙂

Sajjad Anwar February 3, 2017 - 2:25 pm

Hafiz Saeed is the person who is clear as crystal and remained available publicly before his detention, his own and his Jamat’s accounts and finances are mostly freezed, rest are open to be reached by anyone, there is no a single complaint or FIR is lodged at any Police Station Countrywide, if India or US blame on it about any incident e.g 26/11 they are supposed to prove their stance, and evidences should be acceptable to Supreme Court of Pakistan, which is the highest forum. We all should have faith on this forum, which had cleared Hafiz Saeed in past as no solid and tangible evidence was provided, so everyone has to use his own way of thinking and own glasses, not to use impoerted lenses of US or India showing their stance.

Omer yousuf February 3, 2017 - 2:28 pm

Wow… Would u believe i just checked again the web link in middle of the article that whether i am on an indian link or Pakistan.
Days are gone when paid articles mold public opinion. Its time of social media where everyone sees the reality with own eyes.
As far as twitter is concened for last 4 days i personelly seen top trends in favor of Jamat-ud-dawah and hafiz saeed in prime time.
Any how nice try to attract foriegn funding by bashing pro-pakistan elements

Huzaifa February 3, 2017 - 2:38 pm

first of all he isn’t a militant commander and the courts mentioned were not against the law in Pakistan. Totally misinformed. Even you should have done your homework proper to malign someone. It looks like u were just briefed and misguided.

Dr Musawir Rehman February 3, 2017 - 2:40 pm

I have heard in my childhood that” money speaks””mtlb paisa bolta hay”. Today by reading this article i came to know that “DOLLAR IS SPEAKING”. Is this article is in favour of national interest of Pakistan or against” definitely against”. Can i ask you “the writer sir” how many dollars you got for this non sense. Hafiz Saeed and Pakistan army lives in hearts of Pakistanis. They are struggling in long term survival, prosperity and bright future of Pakistan. I love You Pak Army and Hafiz Saeed

Muhammad Usama February 3, 2017 - 2:50 pm

India failed to prove.. Hafiz Saeed linked to Mumbai attacks. If you have any evidence, help Modi.

House arrest not Qadsia, at his home from the very first day.

Ty to provide evidence the next time you write. This and that has never solved any problem.

SAAD HANIF February 3, 2017 - 3:07 pm

Hafiz Saeed is not the name of person, it is the name a compaign which is launched in whole Pakistan today.He is a person who is serving his nation, solving peoples problems, winning their hearts and he is the one who has crystal cleared the real face of India & America to his Nation today.

The enemies of Islam & Pakistan are always busy in making propaganda against him.This baseless propaganda without any proves cant be the barrier.

Asad Asif February 3, 2017 - 3:09 pm

Lies, lies and more lies. I do not know where these kind of so called pseudo-journalists get their information. Day dreaming and putting that dreamed of information on a website without any validation. Its a shame.

As far as Hafiz Saeed is concerned. He has done a great service to this nation. No FIR/complaint of any kind has been lodged against him in any court/police station in Pakistan. I wonder the writer has written this piece of falsities while being high on cocaine or doing weed.

P.S. Editors must validate the information before putting it online, otherwise your reputation will be blown.

umer Akbar February 3, 2017 - 3:29 pm

Hafiz Saeed and those who stand with him are those who stand for justice.

Muhammad Usman February 3, 2017 - 3:54 pm

There are number of blunders and disinfo in this article. Firstly, you should meditate on your Word “Militant”, What are you trying to convince? A man who is messiah for the backward people of Thar and Baluchistan. Not a single FIR is registered against him nor against any person belong to JuD. He is a hospitable person and he proved with his character. And The supreme court of Pakistan cleared him from all the allegations. Really regret while reading this so-called information which is completely based on lies. The incidents you have mentioned in this Article are completely out of order and they have no authencity. So, you should first meditate on your own Info sources then put “Fatwas of terrorism” on him.

Ismael February 3, 2017 - 5:11 pm

I wonder what has happened to the standards of Newsweek Pakistan. Not only is the article void of facts, it seems as though the writer is particularly frustrated about something, as if he’s let loose years of anger, unable to contain it any further.

I could expect rants like these from an amateur blog, but surprised to see that what Newsweek’s become.

If you happen to study the current discourse about Hafiz Saeed, you can’t help but think, that there’s something inherently positive about him, that despite being sanctioned, well educated people from all sectors and spheres can be seen openly supporting him, be them journalists, retired military officers, anchors, think tanks, lawyers, politicians. Surely someone whom the majority of the urban middle class as well as the Simone who enjoys immense support of the public, must have done something positive to deserve that.

But the article, highly subjective and agenda driven, speaks the language of New Delhi, when it comes to the baseless allegations mentioned herein. Journalistic ethics and integrity, if not an appreciation of Hafiz Saeed’s relief efforts, atleast demand that you give some space to the other side of the story.

Let it be known, that all allegations, including the ones used by UNSC to list Hafiz Saeed and JuD, were thoroughly examined in the top courts repeatedly, including the Supreme Court. They were examined and scrutinised for years, before concluding that no proof whatsoever has been found against Hafiz Saeed or his organisation.

Apart from that, not a single case, FiR or a complaint was registered against the organisation for any crime or misconduct.

But sadly, journalism today seems to be becoming more about getting one’s agenda across than narrating plain facts.


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