Daawa Chief: A Message To Indians On Mumbai AnniversaryDecember 3, 2009
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—In a detailed letter written to Hamid Mir of Geo News, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, sympathized with the families of all those who lost their lives in the Mumbai attacks last year and said that Islam does not condone random blasts at public places, nor does it endorses the killing of innocent non-Muslims.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is not happy with some Pakistani intellectuals and journalists who are “propagating” against him and expected that the Pakistani media would support him.
Following is the text of the letter:
“Dear Mr. Hamid Mir,
I hope you are doing well. It has been almost a year since the Mumbai attacks took place. I am writing to you because I would like to offer some thoughts in this regard.
Hundreds of families were affected by these attacks and these families must certainly be in a state of mourning on the anniversary of the attacks. Yet, if a few hundred families were affected by these attacks in India, at least five thousand families in Pakistan have also had to endure momentous suffering. This is so because India placed the entire blame of the Mumbai attacks on the Jamaat al Dawah and me, without any proof at all, and succeeded in having UN sanctions imposed upon us with the active collaboration of the United States. The sanctions resulted in a crackdown on the Jamaatud Dawah and all of the organization’s humanitarian and educational projects were shut down, while I, along with a number of my colleagues, was put under preventive detention.
The prime victims of these unreasonable and unmerited sanctions have been those underprivileged families whom the Jamaatud Dawah had been supporting with contributions of five to eight thousand rupees a month. Apart from these severely affected families, scores of other individuals who had been working for the Jamaatud Dawah’s humanitarian projects on a monthly remuneration basis, such as doctors, engineers, technicians, teachers, as well as hundreds of volunteers, have been very adversely affected by these unfair sanctions.
I am indeed extremely saddened at the loss of innocent lives in the Mumbai attacks, and I fully sympathise with the families of those who lost their lives, but it remains a fact that India has deceitfully associated me with these attacks. Although India succeeded in associating the Jamaatud Dawah and me with these attacks in the media, yet it has been unable to prove these allegations in any free and independent court of the world.
At the conclusion of the hearings challenging the detention of my colleagues and me, the Lahore High Court had noted in its historical judgment that it had not found any evidence, which associated the Jamaatud Dawah, Hafiz Saeed, or Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi with the Mumbai attacks. The truth is that the government arrested various leaders who endorse Jihad in Kashmir and did so for the sole purpose of pleasing India. These leaders are now enduring in-camera hearings in Anti-Terrorism Court merely because they support the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people. Almost a whole year has passed since these arrests, yet none of these leaders has been indicted to date.
Meanwhile, India has handed over several dossiers, supposedly carrying evidence against me, to the Pakistani government, yet the Pakistani government has itself admitted that these dossiers do not contain any evidence against me.
The Indian media has made it a perpetual issue of propaganda that several dossiers have been handed over to the Pakistani government by India, yet Pakistan refuses to move against Hafiz Saeed. As I have stated earlier, the truth is that these dossiers do not contain any evidence against me. Then what is the purpose of this entire hullabaloo, one might ask. The fact is that India desires to suppress the Kashmir issue, which is the real dynamic behind all this Indian propaganda. My real ‘crime’ is that I vociferously and comprehensively highlight the Kashmir issue. Kashmir is Pakistan’s jugular vein and we can never close our eyes to it. India is extremely averse to our stance regarding Kashmir and instead of resolving the issue; it resorts to unleashing propaganda in order to cover up the matter.
The Pakistani media should counter Indian propaganda by projecting the Kashmir problem as an existent issue. Indian promises on the United Nations forum of holding a plebiscite in Kashmir are on record, and no one can refuse to acknowledge their existence. Then why has India been consistently sidestepping the UN resolution on the Kashmir issue for the past sixty years? We must press India for a clarification of the delay instead of adopting a defensive stance, for it is India who always either delays the resolution of this critical issue through inconclusive negotiations, spurious calls for friendship, or in fake negotiations in the name of confidence-building measures, and sometimes by just bluntly refusing to negotiate on the matter. If any negotiations do take place, India makes sure that there is no mention of the Kashmir issue. If the Kashmir issue is ever mentioned at all, India promptly associates it with terrorism.
It must be inquired of India that if it is sincere about the Kashmir issue then why is it terrified of negotiations on this matter, and why does it not allow this matter to be resolved? It is precisely because of India’s duplicity and hypocrisy that China too, is exasperated with India’s attitude, while India’s relations with its other neighbours, Bangladesh, Nepal etc too are not very praiseworthy either and usually remain strained. What needs to be done under these circumstances, therefore, is for our government and media to expose India’s duplicitous posture. It is a paradox that our friend, China, is issuing separate visas to Kashmiris, while we pursue an apologetic and defensive policy. India has slaughtered more than a hundred thousand Muslims in Kashmir. This crime must be exposed.
Another reason for India’s personal vendetta against myself, accompanied with all the usual racket, is evident in what every Pakistani man, woman, and child is saying these days, and which I have claimed for several years now; that India is the real sponsor of all the acts of terror and carnage in Pakistan. My crime is that I reveal India’s real face to the people of Pakistan and I expose its two-faced policy of overtly appearing all smiles and geniality, while it conceals a dagger in its sleeve, waiting to stab one in the back at the first opportunity. India cannot stand my existence for another reason too, and that is that I speak about the rights of Muslims of the whole subcontinent. Moreover, I do not stay silent when Muslims are slaughtered in Gujrat and Maharashtra.
Not only my Deen, but, in fact, no law in the entire world forbids me from raising my voice at the massacre of innocent Muslims in India, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. It is also noteworthy that my parents had migrated from India when Pakistan gained independence and, hence, apart from the ties of Islamic brotherhood, I also have a geographical association with the Muslims of India. We lost many of our loved ones during the migration to Pakistan and, therefore, have a much clearer and comprehensive understanding of the difficulties and problems faced by Muslims in India.
India’s double-faced policy is also evident from the fact that it had been constructing dams on rivers flowing into Pakistan while it overtly negotiated confidence-building measures. My organization exposed this Indian conspiracy in every corner of Pakistan. India, therefore, considers my organization and me the biggest obstacles in its path of nefarious designs against Pakistan and that is why it incessantly points the finger at me without providing any tangible evidence. Alas! It is unfortunate that our government continues to pursue a meek and self-protective foreign policy vis-‡-vis India instead of defending Jama’at-ud-Da’awah and me. Pakistan’s government dreams of friendship with an enemy, though its dream will never be realized.
Kindly allow me to also mention here that under sway of incessant Indian propaganda some Pakistani intellectuals and journalists too, hold a negative opinion of my organization and me. Although such individuals are few in number, yet I would like to say with all due respect to these individuals that the Jamaatud Dawah is an organization which has promoted this ideology ever since its inception, that any type of armed activities within Pakistan are not right. Alhamdulillah, it is precisely because of this policy that no evidence has ever been presented against the Jamaatud Dawah in any court of Pakistan, which could show that the Jamaatud Dawah was ever involved in any negative activities, or had ever attempted to disrupt peace in Pakistan.
The Jamaatud Dawah has always been the first to condemn any armed activity within Pakistan, including suicide attacks. We consider such activities damaging to the image of Islam and Pakistan. Islam is a religion of peace and jihad for the sake of Allah is a vital pillar of Islam, yet there are certain specified rules for carrying out jihad, which does not include indiscriminate killing of everyone everywhere. Islam does not condone random blasts at public places, nor does it endorse the killing of every non-Muslim that one comes across. We do not believe in killing and slaughter in non-Muslim countries too, and we believe that it is the responsibility of Muslims to protect the life and property of non-Muslims in Muslim countries. Raising of the sword is only permissible against those non-Muslims who arm themselves to the teeth and invade Muslim lands and people. It is because of this ideology of the Jamaatud Dawah that Hindus and Christians from Karachi and interior Sindh took out protest rallies in support of the Jamaatud Dawah when UNSC imposed sanctions upon the Jamaatud Dawah last year. It has been a hallmark of Jamaatud Dawah’s humanitarian services that it has always served people in need without any discrimination on ethnic or religious basis whatsoever. We did so because that is what Islam had taught us to do.
It deserves mention here that the UN Security Council (UNSC) has imposed sanctions on several public welfare and jihadi organisations of member Muslim nations, yet the Jamaatud Dawah is the only organisation, which formally challenged these sanctions at the Security Council. We prepared and submitted a formal request for de-listing in accordance with the rules of the UNSC, and the UNSC, as well as the European Union contacted us for further clarifications. Our case is still pending at the UNSC. There is a fundamental flaw in the basis on which the UNSC has imposed the sanctions and we firmly believe that sooner or later that day will come when the international community will accept our just point of view and position.
Whatever has been said against the Markaz-e-Taiba, Muridke, in the Kerry-Lugar Bill is also mere propaganda. Markaz-e-Taiba, Muridke is an educational and public welfare complex where, apart from the educational institutions for boys and girls, an excellent hospital also exists. Nor has it ever been a no-go area in the past. Journalists from every corner of the world have toured and surveyed it, yet western media, with its agenda of promoting certain interests and objectives, continues to spew propaganda regarding this educational complex.
The object of writing these lines is to call for an end to negative propaganda against Jamaatud Dawah and to allow it to fully resume its humanitarian and public welfare projects. Perpetual negative propaganda against us, despite our evident past and our open present is beyond our comprehension. We obviously do not expect anything from others, but we do believe we have a right to expect that the Pakistani media will support us against the innumerable injustices committed against Pakistan’s major humanitarian relief organization and will cooperate with us in presenting the truth to the international community.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
Ameer Jamaat al Dawah Pakistan”