Hafeez Saeed’s re-arrest

Under strong US pressure, Pakistan has put Hafeez Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/11 serial terror attacks in Mumbai, under house arrest again, according to a TV channel report. The Judicial Review Board of Pakistan had set him free a few days ago because the prosecution (the Pakistan Government) had failed to produce evidence strong enough to justify his continued detention. And this, despite India having provided to Pakistan incontestable evidence to secure Hafeez Saeed’s conviction. Pakistan has always rejected the evidence provided by India as either inadequate or inconclusive, obviously because it did not want to prosecute him and obtain his conviction. Now it seems that the combined reaction of the US, India, France and other Western countries against Hafeez’s release has forced Pakistan to reverse its earlier decision.
With the onset of winter, the infiltration of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to taper out for the next three to four months but will go up again as the snow starts melting. India should utilize the lull period to strengthen its anti-infiltration measures. New Delhi should try to ensure US support for carrying out operations across the border to smoke out terrorist camps located in PoK. It has to be made plain to Pakistan that the proxy war it has been waging against India through the so-called non-State actors will prove increasingly costly to it. India-US cooperation against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism is necessary because China is openly siding with Pakistan on the question of terrorism as seen in its bid to block the move to declare Hafeez Saeed an international terrorist by the United Nations.
Vigil has to mounted on Indo-Bangladesh border also as Pakistan is trying to infiltrate terrorists through Bangladesh. Some of the terrorists arrested in West Bengal have confessed to have set up ‘sleeper cells’ and secret units to make bombs and explosives with local support. Sharing of intelligence and greater Centre-State and Indo-Bangla coordination to deal with the terrorists in this region is a must now.

Sunday, 3 December, 2017