Extraordinary times

Hafiz Saeed’s acquittal has not surprised many people but disappointment over the Supreme Court’s verdict can be acutely felt, more so in India than in Pakistan. “There is a sense of disappointment…especially when we regard Hafiz Saeed as one of the masterminds of the Mumbai terror attacks and he has openly urged jihad against India,” said Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao. The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Lahore High Court’s decision to free Saeed from house arrest by dismissing the appeals by the federal and Punjab governments. The court cited lack of evidence for dismissing the appeals. Saeed is the notorious chief of a banned terrorist organisation, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), which is now working under the garb of a ‘charity organisation’ called the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). The acquittal not only points at the lacunae in our justice system but it also affects the Pak-India dialogue process.

It is apparent that since the prosecution’s case was rather weak, the court’s hands were tied. Under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Act 1960, there is a time limit on how long a person can be kept in preventive detention. As for granting bail to certain individuals, the respected judges do have an option to use judicial discretion and not release the accused if he/she is perceived to be a threat to society. These are extraordinary times calling for extraordinary measures, thus we need to revisit the anti-terror laws since we are in the middle of a war.

Terrorism cannot be combated if terrorists are allowed to go scot-free on the basis of insufficient evidence. These barbarians are threatening the very foundation of this state. The military has now taken on its own creation, i.e. the Taliban, in order to save this country but there is an urgent need to keep a check on the export of jihad to Afghanistan and arguably to India. We need to launch a crackdown on the local jihadi groups and scrap the policy of protecting perceived ‘assets’. This is no time to play favourites as far as the terrorists are concerned. They are all one and the same. These groups might not be carrying attacks inside Pakistan today but the authorities should not wait till they actually do the dirty deed. It is time to get serious.

(my editorial in Daily Times)


I appreciate your views that while being a Pakistani writer,you are so concerned about terrorist threats to India & Indians from the terror outfits operating from the soil of Pakistan, with an apparent support from Pakistani intelligence ISI.Hafeez Sayeed case is a typical example of how Pakistani authorities mishandle a terror case before judiciary when it's related to India.May it be Pakistan or India,courts hands are tied with law.If you donot furnish sufficient proofs & conceal the facts from court,accuseds are bound to be freed like Sayeed.But I am pleased to know that Pak media,intelligentia & right-thinking,peace-loving Pakistanis like you are there to highlight these issues so boldly.Thanks a lot.

Gopal Mohan Mishra
Uttar Pradesh
Sai said…
I am Saisuresh Sivaswamy, senior editor, rediff.com India (www.rediff.com).
Could you please email me at sai@rediff.co.in when you have the time?
Anonymous said…
Top girl !!

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