Following the ban imposed by the United States on June 25, 2014 against two senior members, one of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Kashmir-based organization fighting for freedom of Kashmir and the other of charity and dawa’ah organization ‘Jamaat-ud-Dawa’, there are few very important concerns that have surfaced the scene. Time and again, Hafiz Saeed, the (Ameer) leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa has insisted that his charity organization has no links with the Kashmir based resistance movement Lashkar-e-Taiba. Though, due to a strong Indian propaganda at both national and international level, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa have been branded as one. However, both organizations have denied any links with each other at many forums and occasions.
Timing of the Ban
The timing of this ban is also considerably important, as US withdrawal is near and Jamaat-ud-Dawa is busy in rehabilitating people in DP’s camps in North Waziristan in wake of operation Zarb-e-Azb. US sanctions and designation comes at a stage when US/NATO troops in Afghanistan are drawing down, and apparently both India and Pakistan, the two nuclear-armed nations are trying to have some influence in Kabul. At this juncture, this move to ban and label a charity organization as a ‘terror’ group is not simple as it seems. United States before leaving this region may also want to ‘thank’ India for its support in Afghanistan during the last decade, by imposing a ban on the group and people who have constantly been demonized in India and around the world by Indian lobbyists. It may be a kind of “thanks giving” gesture to India, by United States of America.
Analysts believe that the tone of ban statement bears the footprints of Indian origin. Thus, it came as something really “needed” in India and especially for Indian intelligence which for long has been insisting that the US agencies should include the JuD and its operatives in the list of banned outfit. This also established the fact, that US takes India as a “lynch pin” and for the regional and global perspectives, they are hands in gloves to safeguard each other’s interest at every forum and front.
Hafiz Saeed, the (Ameer) leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which was labeled a terror group and smacked with economic sanctions by the United States, denied having any links to militancy. He categorically denied any links with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and insisted that his group is a charity organization. In a press conference in Lahore, Hafiz Saeed said:
“Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) has no link whatsoever with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is a resistance organization in Kashmir”. He further added that “It (JuD) is an independent Pakistani organization taking part in the promotion of education and relief operations. It is only serving the Pakistani people.”
Soon after, Mumbai Attacks on 26 November 2008, theKashmir based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba rose to limelight at both national and international level. India, without any second thought blamed it on Pakistan and LeT. Subsequently, the blame game encircled Hafiz Saeed, the head of JuD. US as the front runner of WOT, also took these allegations at face value and since then, India seems to be exploiting US sentiments and policy against JuD and also trying to curb the activities of LeT. Killing two birds with one stone, India is successful so far by labeling JuD and LeT as one. This resulted in a mounting pressure on Pakistani authorities regarding JuD and on the other hand, India is following the trail of LeT in Kashmir.
JuD- LeT- US- Blurring the Lines
What comes as a surprise was the attitude of US, who without any investigation and research also took a harsh stance towards a charity organization. Just have a look on a time line where US on behest of Indian lobbyist is also blurring the lines between
LeT and JuD, resulting in an overall confusion about JuD and its activities with in Pakistan.
- On 5 December 2001, the group Lashkar-e-Taiba was added to the Terrorist Exclusion List.
- In a notification dated 26 December 2001, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell designated Lashkar-e-Taiba a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
- Due to pressure mounted, on 12 January 2002, Lashkar-e-Taiba was banned in Pakistan, after being linked to an attack on India’s Parliament.
- On December 7, 2008, under pressure from the US and India, the Pakistan Army launched an operation against LeT.
- On 11 December 2008, the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on JuD, declaring it a global terrorist group.
- On June 2, 2009, a Pakistani court ordered the release of the founder of a banned militant group who had been placed under house arrest on suspicion of ties to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.
- April 3, 2012, the United States announced a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of Hafiz Saeed.
- June 25, 2014, the United States imposed economic sanctions against two senior members of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and designated a charity wing, Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a terror group and imposed sanctions on it.
There are few facts that are reported but overlooked and that need to be highlighted and understood. As mentioned that after Mumbai Attacks, India blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attacks and soon after, many sanctions were imposed and Lashkar-e-Taiba was declared a terrorist organizations at international level.
It is important to note here that Lashkar-e-Taiba denied any links, role and involvement in Mumbai Attacks. “Lashkar-e-Taiba strongly condemns the series of attacks in Mumbai … Lashkar has no association with any Indian militant group,“ said Abdullah Gaznavai, chief spokesman of the group at that time. What has been narrated and understood over the years is that, Lashkar-e-Taiba is a Kashmir focused organization and its goals and aims are more national than global. However, again, Lashkar-e-Taiba has been blamed to have links with Al-Qaeda that stands true nowhere, because both organizations have entirely different aims, motives, methodology and structure. Lashkar-e-Taiba is more national and its operations are limited to India-administered Kashmir alone.
Lashkar-e-Taiba also denied any involvement in December 2001 assault on the Indian Parliament. The Indian government blamed LeT, in coordination with Jaish-e-Mohammed, for a 13 December 2001 assault on parliament in Delhi. Lashkar-e-Taiba was again blamed for the attack in Srinagaron Indian army convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir which was accepted by Hizb ul Mujahideen, an indigenous militant outfit of Indian-controlled Kashmir. Lashkar-e-Taiba also denied an attack on Indian diplomatic mission in Afghanistan. Western intelligence informed Afghan President Hamid Karzai and he said that he had been informed by a Western intelligence agency that Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the assault on the Indian consulate in Herat which left two policemen wounded. In a response Lashkar-e-Taiba spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi said on telephone that “Hamid Karzai’s claim is not based on truth. We condemn the attack…Our operations are limited to Jammu and Kashmir alone, and these will continue until the dawn of freedom for the territory.”
The imposition of Ban may hardly affect activities of LeT or for that matter JuD in Pakistan. JuD may have a rigid outlook, but without knowing them or taking their view on the matters at hand is intellectual dishonesty on the part of many. US and UN diplomatic circles should also come out of the trance of Indian lobbyists. India, playing a game of offensive foreign policy, may feel the heat later on if the narrative at Dehli will not be changed about its neighbors. India should also learn as how to find a peaceful solution by resolving the Kashmir issue and stop playing with the resistance in Kashmir. Peace is what we all yearn for; it should be the top priority but with honesty to establish it in letter and spirit and not through means and methods which seems constructive in the short term but destructive in the long term.
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