ISLAMABAD - The Interior Ministry is undecided as to whether any action could be initiated against Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed Ahmed or not after the US announced a $10 million bounty for his arrest or any information leading to his arrest and placed him in the list of most wanted terrorists of the world.
A senior ministry official on Tuesday said on the condition of anonymity that the ministry had received no official communication in this regard and he himself just read it in newspapers. He said that Interior Minister Rehman Malik was in Karachi right now and after getting instructions from him, the ministry would write to the Foreign Office to have its views on the issue. The official further informed this scribe that the Ministry could also verify the information from US through Interpol or the Foreign Office itself could check the veracity of the information through diplomatic channels.
The official also opined that it would be difficult to initiate any action against Hafiz Saeed Ahmed and his brother-in-law Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, the co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),now operating in the name of JuD, who also carried $2 million bounty, as both of them were neither Proclaimed Offenders nor wanted by the law-enforcement agencies in any crime under the law of the land. US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, during his on-going visit to India on Monday stated that the US government had announced $10 million bounty for the arrest of Hafiz Saeed Ahmed for his alleged involvement in Mumbai attacks. He also said that Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, the second in command of JuD now carried a bounty of $2 million on his head. The name of Hafiz Saeed Ahmed had been posted on the US government’s Rewards for Justice website.
Hafiz Saeed’s name has been posted alongwith the name of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar who also carried the same amount of bounty on his head as that of Saeed. Now Hafiz Saeed stands second with respect to the amount of bounty offered by US State Department after al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri who carried the highest amount of bounty of $25 million on his head. Hafiz Saeed Ahmed and his organisation Jamaatud Dawa, previously operating in the name of LeT, now a banned organisation in Pakistan, are accused of planning and executing Mumbai attacks in India during 2008. However, UN through a resolution had banned both LeT and JuD after Mumbai attacks and imposed sanctions on both of these and urged the member countries to freeze their assets.
Earlier, the US government had strongly reacted over the free movement of Hafiz Saeed Ahmed in Pakistan and his participation in the public gatherings and protest rallies of Difah-e-Pakistan Council (Defence of Pakistan Council).
Hafiz Saeed during the last couple of months has addressed a number of public gatherings of DPC- a conglomerate of over 40 religious and political parties that had emerged with the strong resolve to strengthen the country’s defence.