The emergence of extremists and terrorists in the mainstream politics of Pakistan provides ample evidence that there is a paradigm shift in the mindset of authorities and the Pakistani people. The 2008 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s backed candidate Mahmoud Yakub received 5525 votes in the recent held NA-120 bypoll shows that how people of Pakistan are in favour of the ideology
There is a paradigm shift in Pakistan politics as not only the authorities but also the population is also voting for the terrorists and extremists. This is evident by the fact that Mohammad Yaqoob Sheikh, a global terrorist designated by United States,an independent candidate backed by the terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD)’s unregistered political party Milli Muslim League (MML) managed to win 5,822 votes in the recently conducted National Assembly -120 (NA-120) Lahore (III) by-election. The assembly seat was vacated after former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification in the Pakistan Supreme Court’s Panama Papers case ruling on 28 July.
The emergence of political outfit by Hafiz like terrorists clearly illustrates Pakistan’s deeply ambivalent attitude about terrorism as it surpassed mainstream parties such as Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) for the third and fourth position respectively.Yakub is the representative of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in the Difa-e-Pakistan Council. He is also holding the post of JuD’s Bain-ul-Jamaat Rabtaa (Communication with Foreign Religious Organisation).
A close aide of Hafiz Saeed, Yakub reportedly visits Saudi Arabia more than two three times in a year for fundraising activities.
Pakistan is under immense international pressure to eliminate the sancutaries provided to terrorists and to dismantle the terror groups operating in its soil against neighbouring countries India and Afghanistan as well as orchestrating terror attacks across the world.But Pakistani establishment has been projecting itself as the victim of terrorism and also an important ally of United States in the war against terror.
AFter much criticism of Pakistani diplomats at international summmits like in United Nations and BRICS to stop providing safe havens to extremists and also injecting moderate thinking in the society, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) had directed the Pakistan government not to allow proscribed organizations to take part in active politics.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has now rejected Milli Muslim League (MML), which is the political face of Jamatud Dawa (JuD), plea to be registered as a political party.
The move by Pakistani authorities is significant to prevent extremists from entering into mainstream politics ahead of next year’s elections as it would lead to more violence and worse law and order conditions in Pakistan and make the country as a failed state.
The Pakistan government should also take measures to enhance opportunities of education and employment so that the youth do not fall into the trap of terror or jihadist groups.IT istherefore high time that Pakistan strives to become a modern country with progressive outlook.
Moreover, recently the U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,have pointed out about the existing links between the ISI and terrorist organisations.ISI should also shun the 70 years of attitude and start a new process of having balanced ties with India.
By: Arti Bali