New Delhi: There is a joke that circulates among officers dealing with counter-terrorism which states that the ISI would be ready to hand over the Pakistan Prime Minister to India, but not Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief Hafiz Saeed.
Jokes apart, the statement that was made by Saeed yesterday daring India to prove his role in the 26/11 attack reeks of arrogance and confidence. While his statement was very much on expected lines, Saeed knows for a fact that he will never be probed.
The role that a Saeed played in the 26/11 attack is very different compared to his second in command, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. Saeed was an ideological mentor who was completely aware of the plot.
However, he would not attend the training programmes and oversee the same as that was the job of Lakhvi. Saeed would enter the picture just before the terrorists were launched into India and going by Ajmal Kasab’s account, it was clear that his Chacha Saeed (uncle Saeed) was there to see them off.
By now it is a well known fact that no amount of pressure will change Pakistan’s mind about Saeed. He can determine election results in Pakistan and more importantly he is the go to man for the ISI. Saeed makes sure that the ISI’s proxy war is fought by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba-e-Tayiba.
Not just Ajmal Kasab, but even David Headley had told the FBI about a meeting with Saeed. He further states that the 26/11 attack was discussed in brief, but the more important point that Headley tries to make is that Saeed was in the know of the plan.
Going a step further to indicate the proximity that Headley shared with Saeed was an account by one the former’s estranged wives. In a statement, the lady mentions that after a fight she had with Headley, she had approached Saeed to patch things up which he did eventually.
These anecdotes apart, the fact of the matter is that Saeed continues to remain confident is because none in Pakistan would dare probe him.
Let also recount another occurrence post 26/11. Pakistan was quick to say that Saeed had been arrested, but the fact was that it was a house arrest.
The house arrest was however not to punish him, but to protect him. Pakistan was really not aware of how the Americans would react as they had lost 6 of their citizens in the attack.
The FIA probe which was never conducted:
The probe by the Federal Investigation Agency, Pakistan goes into all aspects of the 26/11 attack except for the roles played by Saeed and Headley.
The Headley angle to the probe was intentionally left out because it would have led up to a clear trail indicating that officers in the Pakistan establishment were involved.
However where Saeed was concerned, the probe never got to him. For starters Pakistan does not agree that he is the head of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba-e-Tayiba.
He is always referred to as the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a charity organisation. Now it is common knowledge that the JuD is the financial wing of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. In the dossier that India has prepared it lists the gaps in FIA probe.
The Pakistani probe agency has not at all investigated the role of Hafiz Saeed even though he not only planned the attack in close coordination with Zaikur Rehman Lakhvi and others but himself monitored the progress of training of the terrorists and involved in motivating them, the dossier states.