Protests for JuD chief’s release


A move against national security

More than a week after the arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Chief Hafiz Saeed and other members there have been relatively small sporadic protests in Punjab. The state has rightly ignored all such calls for his release being made by JuD itself and various other religious parties. After being unable to mobilise a significant gathering as individual parties, the Milli Yakjehti Council (MYC) – a consortium of around twenty five religious parties – has announced a collective week long protest starting tomorrow.

Hafiz Saeed’s house arrest is part of a crackdown that is a long time coming. It seems both domestic and international pressure has led to a decision to finally take the organisation and its questionable charitable arm to task. Both the state and the army are on the same page on this issue – acting against JuD is in the national interest. It is therefore no surprise that even the otherwise lenient Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has come out all guns blazing supporting and defending the arrest.

More often than not entities such as the MYC have been given free rein to occupy entire areas of cities for days on end with the state acting as mere onlookers waiting for negotiations to conclude or the protestors to tire and dissipate. During the government’s procrastination day long hate speech against the state, religious sects and minorities is common.

An argument is often made that the government faces a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation. If they act with force, which results in casualties they are blamed for being too harsh and otherwise too lenient if they show restraint. But how does one then justify the government’s actions in the Model Town carnage or the recent PTI Islamabad lockdown?

The MYC should use its ample representation through like-minded MNA’s in the National Assembly to voice its concerns – not on the streets. The government should find a balance in how to react to and handle protests that are in clear violation of National Action Plan (NAP) and section 144 of the penal code.




  1. When he is used by You he is Mujahid , when you feel you don’t need this person any more he is a terrorist, but what about we the Kashmiris?You use it just for political purposes, for you Kashmiri issue is nothing more than a heavenly blessing to reap political benefits. Just a month or two ealier, the tensions were escalated, Kashmiris on either side of LOC suffered, dozens of casualties, then what happened suddenly that everything came on routine? If there were any peace negotiations? Where on earth peace makers met ? If not , I can conclude you once more be fooled we the Kashmiris. Our love once more proved to be one sided affair. .. Ah we the Kashmiris.

    • Tahir, Do not play the victim card. It is us Kashmiris who have forgotten Kashmiriyat and given more importance to Ummah. We are only trying to extract out as much advantage as possible from both India and Pakistan.

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