With Jamaat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed’s arrest already being a controversial topic, India could not miss the opportunity to say that Pakistan does not have the will to try and convict him. However, any action taken by the Pakistani state is and must be for the protection of Pakistan, rather than to stop the wagging tongues of neighbours. After the drama they have been creating over Hafiz Saeed being behind the Mumbai attacks since 2008, one would think that they would have taken the news positively.
While the world community constantly sympathises with India with over the 2008 Mumbai Attacks, Pakistan has seen many dozens of such attacks on its soil – not that anyone is willing to acknowledge the fact. That Pakistan, as a state, is so vested in funding terrorism in other countries, is counterintuitive, seeing the amount of lives and resources it has sacrificed in the fight against terror. Since 2003, a total of 21,527 civilians and 6,669 security force personnel have died in this war. 44 lives have been lost in January alone. Meanwhile, India can sit pretty, pretend to be a peaceful state, all the while raining bullets on Kashmiris, because no external powers are working to destabilise it.
After a long history of India created conflict and Indian aggression, the matter of Kashmir has become even more emotionally charged for Pakistanis. Pakistan does not need a Hafiz Saeed to be reminded of Kashmir. The love for Kashmir has nothing to do with Hafiz Saeed or the JuD but is a sentiment held by the masses.
Why does a smaller state, with fewer resources, more internal conflict as well as a questionable reputation internationally, get under India’s skin? The answer is Kashmir. If India was the land of well-being that it professes to be, there would be no need for Kashmiri’s to fight for liberation. Pakistan is the only country that has pointed out that, behind the façade of Bollywood and Modi’s social media strategy, lies a state that marginalises its minorities, and violently represses dissent.
In 2010, statistics presented to the Indian Government’s Cabinet Committee on Security showed that for the first time since the 1980s, the number of civilian deaths attributed to the Indian forces was higher than those attributed to terrorist actions. A 2010 US State Department report stated that the Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir had carried out extrajudicial killings of civilians and suspected insurgents. If facts mattered to international power holders like the US, Kashmir would have attained the right to self-determination, and Indian soldiers would have been tried for war crimes.