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DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor has clarified that the arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s head Hafiz Saeed Ahmad is a state decision taken in the interest of the state. He further added that all institutions have to play their roles.

He was responding to a question during a press conference. He clarified that the decision has been taken in the best interest of Pakistan and there has been no international pressure. Earlier aides of Hafiz Saeed had told the media that the leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawwah has been arrested under the Indian and American pressure. Few hours before his arrest, Hafiz had expressed similar concerns.

Pakistan’s leading English newspaper, The News, had claimed that, on 11th January, Pakistan’s ambassador to US Jalil Abbas Jillani met the then Assistant Secretary of State, in Washington, who demanded that Pakistan must take action against the internationally designated terrorist organizations.

Trump administration has only taken office on 20th Jan; it is patently visible that new administration owes nothing to the outgoing Obama administration and its world view or whatever a junior, Assistant Secretary of State told or did not tell Pakistan’s ambassador on 11th Jan.

Problem with that explanation is obvious: Trump administration has only taken office on 20th Jan; it is patently visible that new administration owes nothing to the outgoing Obama administration and its world view or whatever a junior, Assistant Secretary of State told or did not tell Pakistan’s ambassador on 11th Jan.

Trump’s plate was already full when the unexpected global reaction against his executive order of visa restrictions and travel ban came. He and his team, are busy fire fighting, they had little time or energy to think of Indian concerns on Mumbai, and that too from 2008.

President Trump in the last ten stormy days has been busy shaking the whole world: he has pulled out of TPP, started a wall at Mexican border, challenged Nafta by imposing duties on Mexican goods, rebuked European Union by offering a bilateral trade deal to UK, offended western allies by talking of easing out sanctions against Russia, is sending his Defense Secretary James Mattis to middle east to chalk out a plan against ISIS and extracted concessions from Saudi Arabia in that regards. Trump’s plate was already full when the unexpected global reaction against his executive order of visa restrictions and travel ban came. He and his team, are busy fire fighting, they had little time or energy to think of Indian concerns on Mumbai, and that too from 2008.

However no one really understands the context of Hafiz Saeed’s sudden arrest. Indian papers, like Hindustan Times and certain US experts, like Michel Kugelman, have speculated that the Chinese pressure may have been responsible for the arrest of Hafiz Saeed.

Pressure from US, China may have lead to Let Founder Hafiz Saeed’s House Arrest, Hindustan Times

DG ISPR in his press conference has attempted to refute all these impressions.

Whether China’s behind the scenes pressure was there or not, media, public and South Asia experts world wide are finding it difficult to understand that why the Pakistani government has taken this decision precisely at this time. ISPR’s press conference,  that asserts that there was no international pressure, fails to explain the timing.

Also Hafiz Saeed is India’s problem; its India’s strategic need to ensure that the new administration in Washington continues to see Pakistan through the lens of ‘terrorism’ and from Delhi’s prism. Whatever may have transpired, behind scenes, in Islamabad, between Nawaz Govt and its military, its obvious that New Delhi has scored its first victory. Now it will insist that Pakistan must “do more”

Read more: Pakistan’s arrest of Hafiz Saeed: Was it a wise move at this stage?

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