Announcement of Bounty by America
Wendy Sherman US Under Secretary of state announced in New Delhi on April 02, that the US had put a bounty of US $10 million on Hafiz Muhammad Saeed a leader of Pakistan based social welfare organization Jama'at-ud-Da'wah(JuD). Almost simultaneously, US Justice Department had this announcement on their official website. State department spokesperson Ms. Nuland replying to procedure for announcing bounty said that “My understanding is that the primary work that is done before we offer these rewards is internal, that we do advise affected governments that we intend to do this, but it’s not a consultative process” (Read here) Another concern shown by journalists in US State department briefings made spokesman Mark.C.Toner defensive, and asked about 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, right? Why now? I mean, why would it take years to decide to put him on the Rewards for Justice Program?” There is no substantial evidence to convict Hafiz Saeed as admitted by US State department on 04 April, 2012 that ”There is information, there is intelligence that is not necessarily usable in a court of law.” (Read here) On the other side Hafiz Saeed has said he is ready to face "any American court" to answer the charges. (Read here)
Pakistan government Response on Hafiz Saeed Bounty
Pakistani foreign secretary termed the facts as speculations. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani maintained that the Hafiz Saeed issue was an internal matter and one that concerned Pakistan only, adding that any concrete proof against the accused should be provided to Islamabad which has an independent judiciary. The premier informed the joint session that he had taken up the matter of Hafiz Saeed during discussions with US Deputy Secretary of State Nides on Wednesday, telling him that at a time when Parliament was engaged in framing new rules of engagement with the United States, such negative messages would only serve to increase the trust deficit. Gilani further maintained that in the past the case against Hafiz Saeed had been dismissed due to a lack of evidence. (Read here)
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Hafiz Saeed would not be arrested as there are no concrete evidences against him. Malik added that it was strange that the US State Department had offered a bounty of millions of dollars to arrest Saeed and his deputy, Abdul Rehman Makki without solid evidences against them. He said the US is violating international law by attacking Pakistan’s sovereignty. (Read here)
Bounty and Hafiz Saeed
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (1950) is the chief of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, a charity organization, operating mainly from Pakistan. After the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, India submitted a formal request to the U.N. Security Council to put the group Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on the list of individuals and organizations under sanctions by the United Nations for association with terrorism. It accused the organization and its leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, of being virtually interchangeable with Lashkar-e-Taiba. 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. The U.S. bounty changes nothing, according to analyst Hasan-Askari Rizvi. “Usually such a bounty is placed on persons who are in hiding, Hafiz Saeed is not,” he said. “This is a propaganda device that won’t yield any result or change the reality on the ground.” Right on cue, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said today that Islamabad will act against Saeed and Makki if evidence is provided against them. (Read here)
Legality of The Case
Pakistani courts 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." (Read here). Pakistan’s PM Gilani maintained that in the past the case against Hafiz Saeed had been dismissed due to a lack of evidence. (Read here)
A fact that has largely gone un-noticed is the verdict by the Indian Supreme Court which has sounded the death knell of the India’s “cross-border-terrorism” thesis, coined in the wake of the attack. As pointed out by the Supreme Court, charges of a ‘Pakistani Connection’, based solely on confessional statement of Muhammad Afzal obtained by Police under POTA, were simply untenable; "…All these lapses and violations of procedural safeguards guaranteed in the statute itself impel us to hold that it is not safe to act on the alleged confessional statement of Afzal and place reliance on this item of evidence on which the prosecution places heavy reliance." With Afzal’s confession set aside on legal ground, the Supreme Court judgment essentially establishes that five unidentified armed men, killed in the process, attacked Indian Parliament and that Mohammad Afzal participated in the conspiracy allegedly hatched for the attack. The court verdict effectively annuls the Indian prosecution’s story, repeated ad nauseam by the Indian police, argued for by the prosecution, propagated repeatedly in full colors by the print and the visual media and ratified by two courts of law viz Special Court and the Indian High Court. It is a pity though that the Indian Government has taken the repudiation of its stance by its own supreme court in stride refusing to scale down its unrelenting propaganda against Pakistan(Read here)
LeT & JuD Connection
The US – Pak National interests coincided when Soviet Russia invaded Afghanistan 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 them as it provided a counter to Indian interference in its neighbours. 9/11 decade brought yet another change in foreign relations and the New World Order rejected all such movements and linked them with Alquida (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 enforcement 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……. The moderate faction , Jamat ud Dawa (JUD) under Hafiz Saeed who publically condemns Mumbai attacks runs 163 schools and 4 colleges for almost 44000 students. In health sector it provides 6 hospitals , 153 dispensaries and 150 ambulances. Its contributions in floods and earthquake are recognized by the world. This organisation remains committed to support Kashmiri struggle on diplomatic fronts.(Read here)
Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) a charity Organization
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. (Read here)
Indian Stance and History
Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna on Friday emphasised that any dialogue with Pakistan could only be meaningful if it acts against the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks….To a question on Pakistan's repeated denial on evidence against Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, the foreign minister said, "We feel that the evidence we have provided, I think, it is enough to convict heinous crimes against humanity. We just have to remind him about the earlier dossier." Asked if India would remind the US about not wasting $10 million on Saeed, Krishna said, "The US has started acting… Now they have come to realise that Saeed is one of the most dreaded terrorists." (Read Here)
Each passing day discovers new realities about shining India when the truth glitters from the false cover stories . On 18 Feb 2007 at least 68 people mostly Pakistani were killed in a series of explosions and a fire on Pakistan-bound train in the northern Indian state of Haryana, near Panipat, about 80km (50 miles) north of Delhi. Initial investigation blamed LeT and JeM , even a Pakistani national Azmat Ali was arrested. Later it was found by the investigating Police that the right-wing Hindu activists and an Indian army officer Colonel Prohit had a significant role. The confessions of Swami Aseemanand further confirms hindutva redical’s role in terrorism. In Mecca Masjid Blast on May 18, 2007 ,14 people died and as a natural reaction initially around 80 Muslims were detained for questioning and 25 were arrested. The investigation followed the script till the CBI found evidence that mobile phone-detonated explosives packed in metal tubes were similar to the Ajmer blasts. The bombs are believed to have contained a deadly mix of RDX and TNT, in proportions often used by the Indian army. CBI director Ashwani Kumar told the media that an activist named Sunil Joshi “played a key role in orchestrating the Ajmer blast and a set of mobile SIM cards that had been used in activation of the bomb-triggers in the Mecca Masjid blast was used again in the Ajmer blast”. National Investigating Agency (NIA) filed a case in a court accusing 11 Hindus and members of the ultra-right-wing Sanathan Sanstha, of masterminding and executing the October 2009 Margao blast. Initial suspicion and interrogation of suspected Muslim men, some believed to be members of “sleeper cells of jehadi groups” turned out to be an allegation.
In Ajmer Sharif Blast on October 11, 2007 ,3 people died. In 2010, Rajasthan ATS arrests Devendra Gupta, Chandrashekhar and Vishnu Prasad. Initial arrests of Abdul Hafiz Shamim, Khushibur Rahman, Imran Ali linked to HuJI, LeT could not be proved. Again in Malegaon 2ndBlasts in September 2008 in which 7 died Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Srikant Purohit and Swami Amritanand Dev were found involved. Malegaon 2008 forced the review of the role of Hindutva groups. The ATS investigation led to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, whose motorcycle was used to explode the bomb, and then to 13 others, including Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, the first-ever serving officer to be charged. During interrogation, he had disclosed to ATS investigators that he had provided the RDX in the Mecca Masjid blasts but the ATS was reportedly asked not to make it public as the Hyderabad police had detained HuJI suspects.
This shows a glimpse of investigation handling in India however, 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”.(Read here)
State Decisions on Stories and Conspiracy Theories
Yes if we still want to take decisions on hear say then lets see another story Posted by Seymour M. Hersh in The Newyorker of 6 Apr 2012. “ US TRAINS TERRORISTS”. From the air, the terrain of the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site, with its arid high plains and remote mountain peaks, has the look of northwest Iran. The site, some sixty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas, was once used for nuclear testing, and now includes a counterintelligence training facility and a private airport capable of handling Boeing 737 aircraft. It’s a restricted area, and inhospitable—in certain sections, the curious are warned that the site’s security personnel are authorized to use deadly force, if necessary, against intruders.
It was here that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K. The M.E.K. had its beginnings as a Marxist-Islamist student-led group and, in the nineteen-seventies, it was linked to the assassination of six American citizens. It was initially part of the broad-based revolution that led to the 1979 overthrow of the Shah of Iran. But, within a few years, the group was waging a bloody internal war with the ruling clerics, and, in 1997, it was listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department. In 2002, the M.E.K. earned some international credibility by publicly revealing—accurately—that Iran had begun enriching uranium at a secret underground location. Mohamed ElBaradei, who at the time was the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear monitoring agency, told me later that he had been informed that the information was supplied by the Mossad. The M.E.K.’s ties with Western intelligence deepened after the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003, and JSOC began operating inside Iran in an effort to substantiate the Bush Administration’s fears that Iran was building the bomb at one or more secret underground locations. Funds were covertly passed to a number of dissident organizations, for intelligence collection and, ultimately, for anti-regime terrorist activities. Directly, or indirectly, the M.E.K. ended up with resources like arms and intelligence. Some American-supported covert operations continue in Iran today, according to past and present intelligence officials and military consultants….Five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated since 2007. M.E.K. spokesmen have denied any involvement in the killings, but early last month NBC News quoted two senior Obama Administration officials as confirming that the attacks were carried out by M.E.K. units that were financed and trained by Mossad, the Israeli secret service. (Read more)
Comments from Social Media
JUD Headed by Hafiz Saeed is a welfare org recog and aprc by UN in floods and Earth quake. Not for Pak but world over.
Hafiz Saeed has been cleared by Pak courts and has no criminal record
Hafiz Saeed has told Mani Shanker on a Tv show that he is ready to present himself infront of law incase there is any proof
He has written to UN and shown his respect for Law
If the proof is allegation of India, Samjhota Express pointing fingers to Pak resulted in local Indians like Col Prohit etc involved .No of other examples
What is this US Law which takes out R Davis, What about embassy drivers who crushed two Pak.Why not head money on them. Why killer of 17 ppl taken out from Afgn now laywer pleaded, his case not be run in Afgn????
Another News article on the same issue can be read here. (Read)