Pakistan based terrorist leaders and their groups are trying to join mainstream politics of the country with the intention to emerge as the political voice of the army and the ISI. Their endevaour is supported by the ISI and the army in that country. The country’s Interior ministry had, however, asked the electoral commission of Pakistan not to register Hafiz Saeed’s party.
As a signal of what is about to come, Pakistan government withdrew its request for extending the detention of Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed. The government withdrew its application for a fifth detention extension for Saeed, but Saeed will remain under house arrest until the end of October under the current order.
Sources tracking the development in the country said that efforts to get terrorist leaders form mainstream party gained momentum after the removal of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was presented with this idea in November last year, but had rejected it.
“The ISI and the army had approached Sharif in November and told him about the ‘benefits’ that would come along, if the leaders of these groups are allowed to ‘integrate’ with mainstream politics by letting them contest polls and by felicitating their victory in some areas but it was outright rejected by Sharif,” a source said. In a press conference held in Islamabad last week, the spokesperson of the Pakistan army had admitted that a discussion was going on between the stakeholders (the government and the terrorist leaders) regarding integrating the terror groups into mainstream politics. This came after Milli Muslim League (MML), a newly launched party controlled by Hafiz Saeed who heads the Lashkar-e-Taiba , backed a candidate in the September by-election for a seat vacated by ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore. The formation of MML was announced within a fortnight of Sharif’s removal. The party was able to secure over 5% of the votes.
“No sane voice in Pakistan, including in its political circle, is supporting this. However, the writ of ISI and the army is much stronger than the leaders and the civilian government. There is a reason that both Masood Azhar (leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad) and Hafiz Saeed have become incommunicado as they have been asked to lay low by the ISI and focus on reinventing themselves as politicians,” the source said.
“The civil government is very helpless when it comes to standing against the army and the ISI,” the source said.
Similarly, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, a designated US terrorist, who founded the Harkat-ul-Mujaideen, which now operates under different names, and lives in Islamabad, is going to launch his own political party. Khalil’s closeness to the Pakistan army has been extensively documented by the Intelligence agencies of various countries including that of Israel.