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‘Pak action against JeM a sham’

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Sindh-Chief-Minister-Syed-with Prime Minister Imran Khan

 It’s another plot to hoodwink the world. Pakistan has been doing this tomfoolery for decades now. The Islamic Republic must walk the talk and embrace peace. JeM should be immediately prescribed. JeM head Masood Azhar should be arrested, and not detained, and charged with terrorism. He should be tried by a fast track court or the military court which has been trying other terrorists ….writes Dr Sakariya Kareem

Sindh-Chief-Minister-Syed-with Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan’s actions against terror group Jaesh-e-Mohammed and the declaration that Lashkar-e-Toiba has been banned, all in the wake of the Pulwama attack, are but a ruse and cannot be taken seriously. Pakistan has been doing this tomfoolery for decades now, hoodwinking the world.

Pakistan must walk the talk. JeM should be immediately proscribed. JeM head Masood Azhar should be arrested, and not detained, and charged with terrorism. He should be tried by a fast track court or the military court which has been trying other terrorists. JeM headquarters should be sealed, its cadres disbanded, armoury seized and its bank accounts sealed. If Pakistan were to do all these actions, it could be considered a beginning.

But that is where the problem is. Pakistan has been saying too many things and doing precious little, mostly nothing. Take for instance, the case of LeT.  Every time LeT is found to be involved in any terrorist attack and the global pressure on Pakistan heats up, the group is put under `watch` or `ban` and its leader is charged with disturbing `public peace` and detained in a well-appointed guest house. A few days later, Hafiz Saeed gets a release order from Lahore High Court with the state standing by mutely. There, of course, is no appeal in the higher court. A few days down the line, some `responsible ` minister or politician comes out with the statement that LeT is not banned in Pakistan because its leader has been freed by a court of law.

Hafiz Saeed. (File Photo: IANS) by .
Hafiz Saeed.

Hafiz Saeed is never charged with terrorist violence, nor his group is raided, arms seized, bank accounts were frozen and the cadres disbanded. Saeed often can be seen, while being banned or proscribed, sharing the dais with `respectable` politicians and Generals.

Similar is the story of JeM and Masood Azhar. In January 2016, when JeM was found to be involved in the Pathankot air force base, a minister informed the media that the group has been banned, its headquarters has been raided and its leader, Azhar arrested. He, his brother and his brother-in-law were detained in `protective custody`. The Pakistani government announced that the terrorist group’s office was raided and sealed and that other punitive actions were in the offing. A Joint Investigation Team was even set up to coordinate with the Indian security and investigating agencies.

What happened after these actions? Nothing. Azhar was released along with others. His empire was restored to him. His bank accounts were released. In fact, the Generals found in him a useful tool to sideline their political thorn, Nawaz Sharif. Azhar, in return, got approval to expand his empire with a new complex on the outskirts of Bahawalpur. His funding sources multiplied. He openly recruited young terrorist cadres and trained them at his training centres camouflaged as seminaries.

So when the Imran Khan government declares that JeM offices have been raided and sealed, its cadres arrested in the wake of the Pulwama attack, more so after the UN Security Council condemnation, there is hardly a reason to believe in the bogus talk.

The influential English daily, Dawn, in a strong editorial on the government declaration of banning JuD, said “  if the state has evidence of the outfit’s involvement in militancy it should present the facts and pursue the legal course so that JuD’s leadership can face justice. As has been witnessed for nearly two decades now, the state moves to ban militant outfits, but, in very little time they are back, up and running, with new names and the entire structure of violence intact. For example, in 2002 the Musharraf regime banned a host of jihadi and sectarian groups, yet this effort had a little practical effect because, with a mere change of nomenclature, the groups continued to peddle hate and violence, making a mockery of the proscription.“

This, in short, describes the timidity and utter futility of the action taken by the Imran Khan government against JeM and Masood Azhar.