File photo of Shahid Abbasi. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi has just flashed the real colours of his country to the world: by displaying outstanding reverence for Pakistan’s own globally-proscribed Islamist terrorist, Hafiz Saeed.
Even as 11-year-old Israeli orphan, Moshe Holtzberg, visited the house of horrors in Mumbai, where, as a toddler, he witnessed Hafiz Saeed’s killers murder his young parents during the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, Pakistan’s prime minister also gave Hafiz Saeed – who received ample help from Pakistan’s secret service and armed forces to carry out the 26/11 attacks – a clean slate.
What’s more, Mr Abbasi showed just how much reverence the state of Pakistan has for bloodthirsty criminals by calling Saeed ‘’Sahib” (Sir).
‘’There is no case against Hafiz Saeed sahib in Pakistan,” Mr Abbasi said. The PM and all Pakistani officials obviously suffer from a chronic case of amnesia: plenty of video and audio evidence of the hotline between the killers on the loose in Mumbai and their handlers in Pakistan was sent across. It continues to be ignored.
Mr Abbasi’s remarks came even as global thinkers gathered in New Delhi to attend the annual Raisina Dialogue, a gathering of world leaders and analysts.
This year’s participants included Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani. The diplomat spoke to WION on his country’s unsurprising love for a man who carries a US-announced 1 million bounty on his head.
“I think the international community has offered evidence and if the Pakistani PM feels it is not substantial, he should talk to the international community. After all, even the United States has spoken about this evidence, Mr Haqqani said. “I am all for evidence being offered. After all, we live in a civilised world. But it is not reasonable to say what the rest of the world considers substantial is not considered by the Pakistan PM.”
Retired Israeli general Amos Gilead offered a blunt response to WION. He pointed to the umbilical link between Pakistan’s secret service ISI and Islamist terror.
“Terror is terror.. you cannot say good and bad terror,” General Gilead said. “It is no secret that ISI is supporting terror organisations. That's common knowledge. As long as these guys support the Lashkar e Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and others, they will exist. And terror needs a terror war.”
US President Donald Trump has temporarily halted military aid to Pakistan and put Islamabad on watch for its failure to curb Islamist terrorists. For the first time in decades of Washington’s dalliance with Pakistan as a strategic partner, American patience seems to be wearing thin.
Simultaneously, the US list of most-wanted terrorists is expanding. It’s a matter of time before it includes the serial killer and butcher of Mumbai, Hafiz Saeed.
And this time, he won’t even be addressed as "Mister".