Lahore: After apparent initial jitters on US
slapping a USD 10 million bounty on his head, Pakistan`s JuD chief and an alleged 26/11 Mumbai mastermind, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed had decided not to go into hiding.
Saeed`s "friends in certain quarters" had initially
advised him to go underground for some time after the US
announced the bounty on him last week, sources said.
A JuD leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
said the outfit felt it would reflect badly on Saeed and JuD
if he went underground.
The support from almost all political and religious
parties of Pakistan, also may have weighed with the
Lashkar-e-Taiba founder not to go underground.
The JuD leader claimed apart from the leaders of the DPC,
Saeed had the support of mainstream parties like PML-N, PML-Q,
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.
"The leaders of over 40 parties who are with Saeed under
the banner of the Defa-e-Pakistan Council put their weight
behind him and asked him to motivate the people against the US
and India for their designs against Pakistan," a
Jamaat-ud-Dawah leader told PTI by phone.
"Different people will interpret it differently," the
leader said. He further said: "Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of the
PML-N, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain of PML-Q, Javed Hashmi of
Imran Khan`s party and Fazlur Rehman of the JUI phoned Saeed
and expressed solidarity with him."
Following such support from political, religious and
other leaders, "no one would like to go into hiding" the JuD
leader said. Saeed, who was placed under house arrest for
about six months after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, currently
heads the JuD.
The UN Security Council has declared the JuD a
front for the LeT. The JuD chief has become very active after
the US announced the bounty for him
He has been touring Punjab province to address his
supporters and mobilise them on the issue.
"Yesterday, he was in Lahore and today he was in Sahiwal
district, addressing his followers and motivating them against
the US and India," remarked a senior leader of the ruling
Pakistan People`s Party.
Unlike other mainstream parties, the PPP, which is a
liberal party, has not expressed solidarity with Saeed or the
JuD at any level. The PPP leader, who did not want to be named
due to the sensitivity of the issue, said the government
should show seriousness in reining in banned groups if it was
really interested in checking extremism in Pakistan.
"We have lost leaders like Benazir Bhutto and Salmaan
Taseer to growing extremism.
It is the duty of our party`s government not to succumb
to any pressure in this regard. If we have evidence against
Saeed as India claims, then we should not hesitate in
presenting it in a court of law," the PPP leader said.
Addressing a gathering at the JuD`s headquarters at
Chauburji in Lahore yesterday, Saeed said his group`s
activists would work with other religious parties to foil
every bid to reopen NATO supply routes that were closed last
year. "The heads of people, who have already pledged they will
make sacrifices for Allah, have no price.
We will continue and strengthen our movement against the
restoration of NATO supplies in collaboration with other
religious parties," he said.
Pakistan`s religious forces would never accept pressure
from the US on Pakistan to restore the supply routes, he said.
The JuD wants to create awareness among the people of all
countries about the "illicit activities" of the US and India
against Islam and Pakistan, he claimed.