The decision to convict Jamatud Dawa (JuD) leader Hafiz Saeed in two terror financing cases by an anti-terrorism court in Lahore shows Pakistan’s dedication to the fight against terrorism and cleansing the country of individuals who propagate violence. Pakistan has been long involved in stabilising the region, even after the United States of America (USA) decided to disengage in Afghanistan after Soviet return, and that has impacted our economy, the security of our people, and the international narrative against us despite the continued efforts for peace. In order to safeguard our countrymen, the policymakers also introduced the National Action Plan (NAP), which outlines the code of conduct acceptable to the state and prevent public office holders, individuals and groups to refrain from inciting violence amongst people.

This conviction has come after a series of attacks and criticisms offered when a court acquitted Hafiz Saeed due to their inability to investigate his crimes. This gave a lot of leverage to countries like India, which were at that time and still are involved in propaganda against Pakistan, portraying us to be a safe haven for terrorists. This conviction reestablishes the strength of the state, its judiciary, and reaffirms what Pakistan has been reiterating on several international forums and in diplomatic meetings. This is that Pakistan wants peace in the region, the security of its people and its borders, and wants economic development not just for itself but for the countries of the region as well.

The news of the imprisonment is not just making rounds domestically but has also reached international platforms, and this will help against the online propaganda that India is engaged in against Pakistan. This will help improve Pakistan’s ties, reaffirm our goal for betterment and development, and also make us a strong ally in the region for interested political actors, especially due to the role the region will play in the next decade.