Hafiz Saeed 'hiding behind ballots': India on JuD chief's new political party
Hafiz Saeed is currently under house arrest in Pakistan's Punjab province. Photograph: (AFP)
Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and the mastermind of Mumbai terrorist attack Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has reportedly decided to launch his own political party in Pakistan by renaming his terrorist outfit JuD as Milli Muslim League Pakistan.
The JuD chief will register his political party with the Election Commission of Pakistan, media reports said.
He is likely to launch his political outfit on Pakistan's Independence Day at a function in Lahore.
Hafiz Saeed has been declared a wanted terrorist by India and the United States for his alleged role in masterminding the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that claimed 166 lives.
He even carries a bounty of 10 million USD (approx. Rs 66 crore) on his head for his role in the attack.
He is also reported to have close relations with the Pakistani Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Reacting to the news, outgoing MEA spokesperson Gopal Bagley said, "It appears person whose hands are stained with blood of innocent lives wants to hide his blood-stained hands behind ballot ink. The person who has traded in bullets to take human lives is now trying to hide behind ballots. That's a matter of concern."
On Friday, defence experts called on India to accelerate its initiative to declare Hafiz Saeed an international terrorist globally and Pakistan a terror state.
Defence expert Shivali Deshpande said that by Saeed getting approval to form a political party, Pakistan will declare itself a terror state.
“I am very sure that the same people from Pakistan will definitely not vote him to power after knowing that fact that Hafiz Saeed is an international terrorist. He has a bounty over his head he was the mastermind in many terrorist attacks which had taken place in India,” she told ANI.
Deshpande said if the people of Pakistan vote Saeed to power, it will be proven that Pakistan is nothing but a rogue nation and it will walk on the footsteps of North Korea.
Another defence expert Sunil Deshpande said that with Hafiz Saeed coming to power, the entire world would be under the threat of nuclear war all the time.
“Pakistan is heading towards trouble. If Saeed launches the party then Pakistan would become a terror state and the complete regime will go in the hands of the terrorist,” he told ANI.
Pakistan had claimed to have banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), but following the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2002, it re-emerged as Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD). The United States has designated the JuD as a front for the LeT.