Lahore: Designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, has prepared to contest the general election in 2018 after being set free by Pakistan. Saeed has established a political party named Milli Muslim League (MML). He recently announced his party’s plan to contest the upcoming general elections to be held next year. Saeed’s announcement appears to justify India’s accusation of his release being part of a much larger conspiracy. As Hafiz Saeed’s announcement of contesting the elections was made prior to US Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ Pakistan visit, it is highly indicative and a reaction from the US has been anticipated over it.
The Lahore high court released Saeed from the house arrest after stating that the Pakistan government had failed to produce any evidence against him. While Pakistan’s Prime minister Abbasi had endorsed Saeed’s release, the former dictator Pervez Musharraf had claimed to be his supporter. The US expressed its anguish over Saeed’s release and reprimanded that if Pakistan did not arrest him again, it would have an adverse affect on their bilateral relationship. Even so, Pakistan appears to be quite firm against Saeed’s detention. Additionally, the Pakistani Prime Minister offered India, who had denounced Hafiz Saeed’s release, an instigating piece of advice of approaching the International court against Saeed.
US analysts had forewarned that Saeed’s release was a part of Pakistan’s conspiracy to establish him into mainstream politics. India had made similar allegations on Pakistan. Hafiz Saeed‘s announcement of contesting in the 2018 Pakistan elections in a matter of days, has justified these allegations. US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has been scheduled for a Pakistan visit on 4th of December and has stated his displeasure over Saeed’s release. Also, he criticised Pakistan’s failure to act against the terrorist organisation of Taliban’s Haqqani network. Mattis warned that taking action against terrorists would prove to be in Pakistan’s best interest. The US ‘White House’ also rebuked Pakistan of not providing the expected support in the fight against terror.
There appears to be a strong possibility of the US Secretary of Defense minister warning Pakistan to act against Hafiz Saeed and other terrorists. However, it is quite likely that Pakistan may not respond to it seriously. Presently, Pakistan is politically unstable and it is quite evident that a mere 2000 hardliners have paralysed the capitol city of Islamabad thus, paralysing the entire nation. Therefore, it has been speculated that the US Secretary of Defense would prefer to speak to the Pakistani Army rather than the civilian government considered to be weak and ineffective.