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Opinion: What Pakistan can learn from Hafiz Saeed's epic failure in elections

File photo of Hafiz Saeed. Photograph:( Reuters )

Delhi, India Aug 20, 2018, 12.32 PM (IST) Written By: Major General S B Asthana

After the controversial elections with propped up Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in lead, Pakistan's newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan was sworn in on August 18, 2018, as per the strategy of Pakistan Army and ISI. These establishments, with Judiciary under control, managed to weaken PML(N) by sidelining Nawaz Sharif and his daughter and restricting move of other party leaders. They were successful in creating conditions for hung Parliament, so that if captain Imran wants to exercise control over them, his plug can be pulled easily.  Pakistan military has learnt the art of controlling all levers of power, and launching coups, without being seen. 

Pakistan Army and ISI continue to do everything possible to shield Mumbai blast master mind Hafiz Saeed, who is a terrorist leader designated by both the United Nations and the United States and carries $10 million bounty on his head.

The recent step to glorify him was his induction along into mainstream politics, but under pressure of FATF and international community, he and his party Milli Muslim League (MML) were debarred from elections. His family members and associates did fight the elections under the banner of Allah-ho Akbar Tehreek (AAT), but failed to win a single seat, despite the fact that Saeed's rallies drew large crowd and created an optical mirage that he carries a mass support base and is a vote catcher.

The dismal performance of terrorist studded, radicalised party AAT proves the point that the crowd can be managed for rallies of terrorists and their speeches, but the public hates terrorists, and Pakistan public proved it adequately. While Pakistan Army and ISI will continue treating Hafiz Saeed, LeT and JuD, as strategic weapons against India, but they did not help him in elections because after sponsoring so many terrorist groups, they have realised that terrorists can bite back their sponsors any time, and hence cannot be entrusted with political power.

The large number of independents and smaller parties were also propped up by the military establishment as Plan-B, so that in case of hung parliament, PTI can be helped - irrespective of the fact whether AAT wins any seat or not. 
Takeaways for Jammu and Kashmir 

The people of Kashmir have been suffering the atrocities of militants sponsored/inducted by Pakistan Army and ISI for several years. The coercion of families for recruitment of young children has been on rampage. The crowd for anti-India slogans, funerals of militants and stone pelting is organised by coercion and allurement.

The separatists are a bigger evil, they are the kingpin of the terror industry operating in the valley. They are allegedly involved in money laundering and terror funding, provide information and logistics support to terrorists, stone pelters. They brainwash the youth to take up guns, while enjoying the  luxurious life, with their own children studying/working at safer places in India or abroad.  

Hafiz Saeed’s fate in Pakistan elections adequately clarify to the people of Kashmir as to why the separatists never participate in elections, because they know that the people of Kashmir know the home truths about them, hence they will also meet the same fate in elections as that of Saeed and his party. 

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)

Major General S B Asthana

Major General S B Asthana had been an Infantry General with 40 years of defence experience at national and international level.

Story highlights

Pakistan Army continues to do everything possible to shield Mumbai blast master mind Hafiz Saeed, who is a terrorist leader designated by both the United Nations and the United States and carries $10 million bounty on his head.