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The reported ‘arrest’ of allegedly international terrorist Hafiz Saeed by Pakistani government has been interpreted in different ways.

While one view says Pakistan has arrested Saeed for escaping the potential wrath of US President Donald Trump, who has banned entry of people from several Muslim countries into America for 90 days. Another view claims Pakistan has taken the decision under the pressure from India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Trump.

By putting Saeed under house arrest, Sharif apparently wants to send a message to the world, particularly to the US and India, that he is sincere about taking on terrorism

There is also a third view which claims that the Hafiz Saeed arrest drama is just a sham. For the record, Pakistan had put Saeed under house arrest, just like now, in the aftermath of Mumbai 26/11 attacks in 2008 and briefly again in 2009.

Interestingly, the world media has missed to point out that the arrest drama is being orchestrated at a time when Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is facing a huge credibility crisis. His alleged “Panamagate” deals are being probed by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

Pakistani newspaper Dawn provides the fourth view to Hafiz Saeed arrest drama by bringing in the Chinese angle. China has invested heavily in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Arguing that Saeed is a “direct threat” to India-Pakistan relations, Dawn says, “The last thing China wants as it pushes forward with CPEC is an India-Pakistan relationship on tenterhook.”

Interestingly, the world media has missed to point out that the arrest drama is being orchestrated at a time when Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is facing a huge credibility crisis. His alleged “Panamagate” deals are being probed by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

Pakistan’s Arrest of Hafiz Saeed: Was it a wise move at this stage? GVS

By putting Saeed under house arrest, Nawaz Sharif apparently wants to send a message to the world, particularly to the US and India, that he is sincere about taking on terrorism. At home, Sharif’s action can boost his image among Pakistani citizens who stand against terrorism.

Sharif administration is also using the Saeed arrest drama to attack the opposition parties. The Dawn reports an unnamed spokesperson of Pakistan’s interior ministry as saying that no action was taken against previous governments for “some reasons”.

Had Sharif been sincere about tackling terrorism, he should have handed over the JuD terrorist, who masterminded the 26/11 attacks, to India.

Hafiz Saeed’s Arrest a State Decision: DG ISPR, Global Village Space

In recent months, Saeed had also organized open rallies against India in Pakistan. He keeps on poisoning Pakistani minds against India openly. There were reports earlier that terrorists like Saeed are unofficially the main power centers in Pakistan and the country can’t openly act against them. The arrest drama, hence, puts a question mark on Sharif’s real intentions.

This piece was originally published in the Indian publication, The Financial Express, part of the Indian Express Group.

http://www.financialexpress.com/world-news/is-nawaz-sharif-using-hafiz-saeed-arrest-drama-to-change-his-political-fortunes/534900/

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