For arrest and conviction: India hails, JuD mulls challenging bounty on Saeed

Published: April 4, 2012

“We don’t expect justice from them. For Americans, they consider a person innocent unless proven guilty … but for Muslims, they think [of] them [as] guilty unless proven innocent,” JuD chief Hafiz Saeed said when asked about approaching US courts.

ISLAMABAD / NEW DELHI / LAHORE: 

Jamaatud Dawa fumed as India welcomed the announcement of up to $10 million bounty on its chief Hafiz Saeed and an associate on Tuesday.

Islamabad, meanwhile, offered little response.

The bounty was announced by US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman in India on Monday and posted on the US government’s Rewards for Justice website.

Washington also posted a $2 million reward for Saeed’s brother-in-law Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, described as second-in-command of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant outfit that New Delhi has blamed for the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Saeed said the move has come at the behest of India, and his party announced it will initiate legal consultations to determine if the bounty can be challenged in the international court.

India’s elation

The Indian government welcomed the announcement.

“It reflects the commitment of India and the US to bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attack to justice,” the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.

“It also sends a strong signal to LeT and also its members and patrons that the international community remains united in combating terrorism. The foreign secretary expressed India’s sincere appreciation for US step to target Saeed and Makki as well as LeT,” the statement added.

‘At India’s behest’

The JuD chief, meanwhile, appeared on television channels and railed against India on Tuesday.

“The action against me is also an act of terrorism and America is doing it at the behest of India,” Saeed told AFP.

He said the US had slapped him with the bounty because of a campaign he was leading to stop the Pakistani government from reopening Nato supply routes to Afghanistan.

“The movement that we have organised after the formation of Defence of Pakistan Council is becoming very effective and it is impacting Parliament’s decision about Nato supplies and this factor is disturbing for America and that is why they have announced a bounty on me,” he added.

Challenging the decision

Saeed’s party said it will initiate legal consultations to determine if it can challenge the announcement in the international court.

“Our legal experts will soon meet to consider if it is possible … we will use this option, though we don’t take this seriously,” JuD Information Secretary Hafiz Muhammad Masood told The Express Tribune.

Masood, however, did not explicitly say whether the JuD would also challenge the decision in an American court as well.

“We don’t expect justice from them. For Americans, they consider a person innocent unless proven guilty … but for Muslims, they think [of] them [as] guilty unless proven innocent,” he said when asked about approaching US courts.

However, international law expert Ahmer Bilal Soofi told The Express Tribune that the JuD would have to move an American court if it wants to challenge the decision.

“Had it been through the UN Security Council, it would have been challenged in the International Court of Justice … but because it is a decision by an American official agency, a domestic court in the US is the only legal platform where it can be raised,” Soofi said.

Muted response

There was little reaction to the announcement from Islamabad.

“We have not received any official communication in this regard,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told Geo television.

“I cannot comment on it until there is official verification. Let us say that if it is confirmed, then we can ask them on what basis the bounty has been announced,” Malik said, adding that he has requested the foreign ministry for confirmation.

‘Hastening judicial process’

The bounty has been in the works for quite some time and the reward announcement may hasten the judicial process by making citizens come forward, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.

The reward is for information leading to his arrest or conviction, Nuland said at a press briefing.

“There is a review process to determine if offering bounty in this case is likely to lead to any results … the announcements were posted when the process was complete,” she said.

Hinting that this issue is likely to come up during Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides’ visit to Pakistan starting on Wednesday, she said the US has been in communication with Pakistan on this issue while the affected government [referring to India] has been advised, but is not consulted in the process. (With additional input from agencies)

(Read: A reward for nabbing Hafiz Saeed)

Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2012.

Reader Comments (23)

  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:19AM

    I gather that Mr. Saeed has a deep sense of hatred towards India because of the loss of family members during partition. His sorrow is understandable, but instead of directing his anger towards India, he should question the Muslim elite who refused to submit to a one-person one-vote regime and instead insisted on partition.

    Recommend

  • Zaid Hamid
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:21AM

    Why only Hafiz Saeed gets to be famous?
    Zaid Hamid wants to be important too!

    Recommend

  • patriot
    Apr 4, 2012 - 7:27AM

    look at that innocent face, true believer.

    Recommend

  • Apr 4, 2012 - 7:35AM

    Pakistani courts haven’t been able to convict Terrorists who have killed Pakistanis, forget about punishing people who have killed Indians, Israelis and Americans.

    This guy will most probably die a natural death, but many Pakistanis who come in the way of suicide bombers and Taliban’s bullets wont.

    Hafiz Saeed and his ideology will end up killing more Pakistanis, pushing more Pakistanis into poverty than any hurting any Indian.

    He is a double edged sword. India and US just have to wave and put their defences up, its the Pakistanis who wield that sword who will get hurt.

    Recommend

  • Apr 4, 2012 - 7:57AM

    The “challenge” is a non-starter: as the U.S. State Dept. points out in its press release, the U.N. listed Saeed as a terrorist in December, 2008, and is thus “subject to international sanctions.” link However, I can see that the “challenge” will serve to keep some Pakistani minds clouded, thinking Saeed’s deeds were innocent or somehow praiseworthy.

    Recommend

  • HRK
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:16AM

    Target: Restore NATO supplies route in Pakistan and Have India refuse to buy oil from Iran
    Sitting on hot seat: Pakistan’s corrupt leadership
    Scapegoat: Hafiz Saeed.
    Open irony: International judicial laws (compare to cases involving Raymond Davis and the US soldier who killed 16 people in Afghanistan)

    Reminds me of Animal Farm, in which the rules for pigs changed from No animal shall kill any other animal to No animal shall kill any other animal without cause

    Are Pakistanis worth even less than animals now?

    Recommend

  • zalim singh
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:24AM

    What is eleation? India just welcomed it.

    Recommend

  • Zafar Karachiwala
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:27AM

    Shame Shame. Dirty Person

    Recommend

  • Zoro
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:29AM

    Looks like its Time for right things to fall in right places …

    Recommend

  • Mr. Righty rightist
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:29AM

    “Islamabad, meanwhile, offered little response.”

    Hahahaha.

    Osama dies, no response from Islamabad. Bounty on Hafeez, no response from Islamabad.

    Islamabad : “Sirji, Osama mara gaya. Hum kuch statement de?”

    GHQ : “Abhi nahi. Hame yeh sochna hoga ke kounsa jhoot bolna hai. Aap log aapke side se 1000 jhoot ikatta karo. hum log hamare taraf se 1000 jhoot ikatta karte hai. phir in 2000 jhoot main se, lottery nikalke, koi bhi jhoot bol dete hai.”

    Recommend

  • Harry Stone
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:41AM

    I guess PAK if serious could tie this to the reopening of US/NATO supply routes. It might however go behind a motor bike for everyone in PAK.,

    Recommend

  • Malatesh
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:14AM

    What to do with Hafeez Saeed ? Killing him will only create a martyr. Holding him prisoner will inspire his comrades to take hostages only to demand his release. Recommend course of action.Let Special Forces, Seals covertly capture him, fly him to an undisclosed hospital and have surgeons quickly perform a complete sex change operation. Then she be returned to Afghanistan to live as a woman under the Taliban !!!

    Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:16AM

    If the world is serious about ending terrorism from the face of earth then the world (not only US) has to take punitive action people like Saeed, the against terrorist safe heavens and all the perpetration of terrorism including those funding and training them.

    The reward against such terrorists is in the right direction.

    Recommend

  • ZA
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:33AM

    heard that heis planning to enter into politics. my humble request to paki, ps make him pakistan president as soon as possible.Recommend

  • MarkH
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:45AM

    Lets see him swear on the Quran just once that he’s innocent. Even just have him say the words “I am innocent.”
    He only repeats “no evidence.” That is not the line of an innocent. That’s the line of a guilty person who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else.

    Recommend

  • Muneeb
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:47AM

    @Arijit Do you really want to put forward this self-imagined illusion on each and every matter? You can convict every Pakistani if you continue using this logic :)

    Recommend

  • Mard-e-Haq
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:13AM

    Saeed said the move has come at the behest of India, and his party announced it will initiate legal consultations to determine if the bounty can be challenged in the international court.

    First, the Taliban should take their grouses before the International courts before blowing up girls schools, killing of Shias, murdering Pakistani army and police personnel etc etc.

    Second, I knew Hafiz Saeed would be too chicken to take on the Americans and is subtly trying to launch a new Jihad against India, despite an unequivocal bounty offered solely by the Americans.

    Anyway, what’s his defence in the “international court”? That this was in reality an Indian bounty. If Hafiz Saeed wants to launch a new jihad against India, he should personally carry it out himself instead of goading others to die for him.

    Recommend

  • Sarcastically yours
    Apr 4, 2012 - 12:52PM

    If the US can protect the likes of Raymond Davis, why can we protect ours?

    Recommend

  • Cynical
    Apr 4, 2012 - 1:10PM

    US and India are playing a dangerous game.Provoking Hafiz Saeed is not a good idea.As it is he is quite dangerous even when not provoked.
    It’s not to late for an apology.

    Recommend

  • Singh
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:52PM

    @Cynical:
    It’s not to late for an apology.
    LOL

    Recommend

  • G. Din
    Apr 4, 2012 - 3:49PM

    @Muneeb:
    “@Arijit Do you really want to put forward this self-imagined illusion on each and every matter? You can convict every Pakistani if you continue using this logic :)”
    If that is so, so be it!!! Isn’t it already the case? Those who acquiesce in a crime are as guilty as the one who committed it!!

    Recommend

  • pragmatic
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:40PM

    its a gr8 opportunity for Pak to earn some much needed cash ;)

    Recommend

  • Muneeb
    Apr 8, 2012 - 10:49PM

    @G.Din: As I said, it’s your illusion, not some crime. Its not that you cant understand, its just that you dont want to understand. Do you really think a person or a whole organization would work against someone merely for some long lost loved ones who died even before they were born? Surely there are ideological differences involved, whether anyone accepts it or stays oblivious in their cozy improvised theories.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan