Terrorist and mastermind of the dastardly 2008 Mumbai attacks Hafiz Saeed recently wrote a column for a Pakistan-based Urdu newspaper, prompting eminent journalists in the country questioning why someone who wields a gun was given a pen.
Saeed’s role in a number of attacks which have targeted innocent lives is well-known around the world. And yet is sheltered by Pakistan. Giving the leader of a banned terrorist outfit – Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) – a platform in a newspaper though has led many in the country’s journalistic circles to express their indignation. Questions have been raised on why a someone who has been declared a global terrorist by the United States and the United Nations has been shown as a ‘contributing writer’ by the concerned Urdu newspaper despite the fact that there is a $10 million bounty on his head.
There is a suspicion that the owner of the newspaper may either have links with Saeed or may have allowed him to write the article – which uses India’s role in Bangladesh’s freedom struggle in the context of Kashmir, under pressure. The article makes unsubstantiated allegations galore and points fingers at India’s political leaders during at the time of the 1971 war.
While a local court is directed the newspaper to not display Saeed’s photos, the article remains as is in the newspaper of a country which also permitted Saeed’s representatives to contest in the elections earlier in the year.