Monday, January 30, 2017

US Effect? Pakistan Puts Lashkar Chief Hafiz Saeed Under House Arrest

Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed has been detained and put under house arrest for six months by Pakistani authorities. There are speculations that the crackdown came after the US threatened sanctions against Pakistan unless action was taken against Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which is also headed by Hafiz Saeed. For years, Hafiz Saeed has been running free in Pakistan despite India presenting proof of his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in which 166 people were killed.
The house arrest came after a directive from Pakistan's Ministry of Interior dated January 27, ordering action against Falah-E-Insaniyat Foundation and Jamaat-ud-Dawa.
He is currently in detention at the Jamia-al-Qadsia in Lahore's Chauburji area, from where he will be shifted to his house in Faisal Town, sources said. Four others are in detention along with him -- Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz.
The threat of sanctions came days before the Donald Trump administration took over, reported Pakistan daily The News International. The JuD was declared a terrorist organisation by the US in 2014. But Pakistan's stance on him was a source of friction between the two nations.
Mr Trump won the elections in November following his promises to "Buy American and Hire American" and tough action on Islamic terror. While his travel ban on seven Muslim majority nations - Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Libya -- has met with global outrage, the Trump administration has not ruled out including Pakistan in the list in future.
Mr Trump has clarified this was "not a Muslim ban". "This is not about religion -- this is about terror and keeping our country safe," he has said, pointing out that more than 40 Muslim nations are not affected by the order.
Pointing out that the seven nations were identified by the US Congress and the Obama Administration as being "most identifiable with dangerous terrorism," White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, in an interview to CBS News, had added, "Now you can point to other countries that have similar problems, like Pakistan and others. Perhaps, we need to take it further".

No comments: