Pakistani court orders release of Lashkar-e-Taiba leader


hafiz-saeed-2.jpg

Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed.

A three-judge panel of the Lahore High Court has ordered the release of Lashkar-e-Taiba / Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed.

Saeed was placed under a loose house arrest in mid-December 2008 after the United Nations Security Council declared the Jamaat-ud-Dawa a terrorist entity and front group for the Lashkar-e-Taiba just weeks after the deadly terror assault on Mumbai in late November that killed more than 170 people and locked down the city for more than 60 hours. Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Mohammad Ashraf, and Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed were identified as Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders.

Today Saeed was ordered released by the Lahore court, despite the government's presentation of evidence that linked him to al Qaeda. The evidence was presented in a closed session, as the information was deemed a national security secret.

The court did not give a reason for Saeed's release. His lawyer claimed, however, that the detention had been unconstitutional and that the release was a victory for Pakistan's legal system.

"The arrest violated the constitution, therefore Hafiz Saeed and his colleagues are being released," A.K. Dogar, Saeed's lawyer said, according to Dawn. "Today's verdict shows that sovereignty lies in Almighty Allah," Dogar proclaimed as a crowd of supporters chanted "Allahu akbar," or "God is greater," outside the courthouse.

Yahya Mujahid, a spokesman for the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, celebrated Saeed's release. "The order shows that courts in the country are free now and people are getting justice despite pressure," Mujahid told AFP. "We hope the authorities will now withdraw police guards deputed outside his residence which had been declared a sub-jail."

US intelligence officials are dismayed at Saeed's release and say the move shows that Pakistan has a long way to go to defeat terror groups operating on its soil.

"Forget what you are seeing in Swat," an intelligence official closely watching Pakistan told The Long War Journal. "More than six months after Mumbai, there has yet to be a single conviction or even a trial of anyone involved in the attack. Pakistan does not have the capacity to try and convict known terrorists."

"Saeed is untouchable, and don't think the courts and the police don't know this," another official said, warning that the continuous policy of releasing of leaders like Saeed, Red Mosque leader Maulana Abdullah Aziz, and others is sending a terrible message to those on the front lines against the terror groups.

"As long as he and others like him are free, Pakistan will remain a terror state," the official said. "Until Pakistan shows it is serious about taking down the leadership of the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, these groups will regenerate and prosper. And law enforcement in Pakistan will shy away from taking them on."

Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba have extensive links with al Qaeda and Pakistan's military intelligence service

Hafiz Saeed is the founder and leader of the al Qaeda-linked Laskhar-e-Taiba, or Army of the Righteous. India has implicated Lashkar-e-Taiba and Saeed as being behind the Mumbai terror attack. Saeed and the Laskhar-e-Taiba have strong links with elements within Pakistan's military and the Inter-Service Intelligence agency, or ISI.

Osama bin Laden and his mentor Abdullah Azzam encouraged Saeed to form Lashkar-e-Taiba in the late 1980s, and helped fund the establishment of the terror outfit. Lashkar-e-Taiba, like al Qaeda, practices the Wahabi strain of Islam, and receives funding from Saudis and other wealthy individuals throughout the Middle East. Lashkar-e-Taiba is an ally of al Qaeda; the two groups provide support for each other, and their operatives train in each other's camps. Lashkar-e-Taiba has established training camps in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and the tribal areas.

Lashkar-e-Taiba has an extensive network in Southern and Southeast Asia, where it seeks to establish a Muslim caliphate. The group essentially runs a state within a state in Pakistan; the group has established an organization that is as effective as Lebanese Hezbollah. Its sprawling Murdike complex, just northwest of Lahore in Punjab province, is a town of its own. Lashkar-e-Taiba runs numerous hospitals, clinics, schools, mosques, and other services throughout Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. In support of its activities, Lashkar is active in fundraising across the Middle East and South Asia, and the group has recruited scores of Westerners to train in its camps.

The group succeeded in providing aid to earthquake-ravaged regions in Kashmir in 2005 while the Pakistani government was slow to act. Most recently, Lashkar-e-Taiba provided relief to tens of thousands of internally displaced persons who have fled the fighting between the military and the Taliban in the Malakand Division.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa has long been known to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Saeed renamed the Lashkar-e-Taiba as "Jamaat-ud-Dawa" in 2002 after Lashkar was banned by the Pakistani government. Pakistan has never acted against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

In reality, Saeed and his leaders rebranded the group as a Muslim charity to mask the operations of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Saeed has been arrested several times by Pakistani security forces after attacks in India, but each time has been quietly released. After Mumbai, Pakistan claimed to shut down Lashkar-e-Taiba / Jamaat-ud-Dawa offices and camps, and detained followers, but the efforts were largely cosmetic.

The Lashkar-e-Taiba is one of the primary terror groups used by Pakistan to direct military and terror operations inside India and India-held Kashmir. During the 1999 Kargil War, when Pakistan invaded Indian-held Kashmir, the Lashkar-e-Taiba fought as the vanguard for Pakistani forces in the mountainous region. To this day, Lashkar-e-Taiba military and terror units continue to infiltrate into Kashmir, with the help of Pakistan's military.

In March, Lashkar-e-Taiba took credit for the fighting in Kupwara, and warned India of new attacks. "The gun battles should serve as a message to India that the struggle for Kashmir's freedom is on with full vigour," spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi said in late March. Twenty-five Lashkar fighters and seven Indian soldiers were killed in the fighting.

India's Army chief said Lashkar-e-Taiba still operates 40 to 50 camps in Kashmir and Pakistan.



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READER COMMENTS: "Pakistani court orders release of Lashkar-e-Taiba leader"

Posted by james at June 2, 2009 12:52 PM ET:

How about asking for extradition?

Posted by Nard207 at June 2, 2009 1:18 PM ET:

James

They aren't going to send him to India.

This outcome was expected by most observers.

Posted by Marlin at June 2, 2009 1:29 PM ET:

Understandably, India is not pleased at the lack of backbone in Pakistan.

We are unhappy that Pakistan has not shown the degree of seriousness and commitment it should have to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks,' Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters.

[...]

An Indian foreign ministry official told AFP that New Delhi was carefully watching to see 'whether the government in Pakistan will appeal against the court order.'

Dawn: India 'unhappy' over Hafiz Saeed release

Pakistan huffs and puffs back.

Pakistan on Tuesday told India to refrain from commenting on court decisions and questioning its sincerity about action against terrorist outfits.

'Polemics and unfounded insinuations cannot advance the cause of justice in civilized societies. Legal processes cannot and must not be interfered with,' said Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit while commenting on Indian External Affairs Ministry's criticism of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed's release.

Dawn: Hafiz Saeed Verdict: Pakistan tells India not to interfere

Posted by dude40000 at June 2, 2009 2:22 PM ET:

I think India should increase forces on the border with Pakistan. This would definitely put immense pressure on the Pak Army - more so because the very same forces for fighting the Taliban.

That's pretty much the only lever India has with it - especially after the US (foolishly) gave more money to pak as part of the Kerry-Lugar bill.

Posted by Jack Bauer at June 2, 2009 2:52 PM ET:

i agree with dude40000 because india have to increase forces on the border with Pakistan. i hope that...

Posted by Jay at June 2, 2009 4:03 PM ET:

India cannot increase its forces on the border; because every time it does that, it is clubbed with Israel as a war-monger. Also that is exactly the excuse that Pakistan needs to stop fighting Taliban in Af-Pak. They want India to send soldiers on the India Pakistan border. The pakistanis have come up with this fabulous trick. They have some how convinced the world that they can either fight on eastern front or on the western, but not both !! What's worse is that the US has bought it. The last thing US wants India to do is send more soldiers to the border. They will never get rid of terror networks..... That's the only real weapon they have. Their army is incapable of winning a conventional war. It is in their interest to keep this war as asymmetric as possible. And the terror outfits are critical to achieve this.

Posted by Andrew R. at June 2, 2009 4:06 PM ET:

I think that instances of this are the bad guys winning a battle but losing the war. Whatever near term effects we experience, Pakistan is better off as a democracy with an independent judiciary than as a military dictatorship that fecklessly fights the Taliban while also making mass releases of jailed Taliban from time to time.


A civilian government with bureaucratic norms is on much more solid ground because it has legitimacy.

Posted by dude40000 at June 2, 2009 4:23 PM ET:

Jay - I respectfully disagree.

You say - "last thing US wants India to do is send more soldiers to the border."

India has its own interests and US has its own. At times they will converge and at other times they won't.

If pakistan says it won't fight the Taliban because India has increased the troops on their eastern border. I say that's great - let them go through another couple of years of turmoil and not fight with Taliban. Ultimately, the Army will realise that they need to fight the Taliban otherwise they end up loosing all - all their farm houses, all their plots of land in upmarket Islamabad.

Posted by dude40000 at June 2, 2009 4:26 PM ET:

Andrew - I think you missed the point. Hafeez was released by the Pak court not because they are independent and they found the evidence incomplete.

Hafiz was released because the govt instructed its laweyrs to intentionally make a very weak case. And govt. here means ISI/Pak Army. Its just too obvious.

Posted by dude40000 at June 2, 2009 6:49 PM ET:

Here's the details behind the release:

http://ramanstrategicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/06/fresh-oxygen-to-let.html

Posted by Spooky at June 2, 2009 7:46 PM ET:

India won't increase troops on the border, because thats what Pakistan wants. First they will wait on Pakistan to appeal the case. If they don't or it is denied, India will pressure Pakistan in other ways.

The Indus Water Sharing Agreement for example. Pull a Russia and turn a valve.

Posted by fishy at June 2, 2009 9:02 PM ET:

India may increase troops on the border after LeT conducts another spectacular attack inside its borders. This release is just going to get India ready, and they will react strongly to any type of attack and they have that right.

Posted by dude40000 at June 2, 2009 9:02 PM ET:

Unfortunately, India can't pull the valve on Indus. If India does, China will pull the valve on the Brahmaputra.

Posted by Neo at June 2, 2009 9:12 PM ET:

The last thing India wants to do is put more troops on the border. Doing so would just give the Taliban appeasers excuses they need to avoid confronting Pakistan's internal problems.

Pakistan will never go after terrorists to please India and will do little to please the United States. In the end, the Taliban itself will force Pakistan's hand. The US can prop up the Pakistani government and it can poke and prod the conflict but we cannot fight it for the Pakistanis and it cannot sort out Pakistan's internal problems.

India's best defense right now is hold it's ground, and get very serious about improving the overall quality of their security forces.

Posted by dude40000 at June 2, 2009 9:24 PM ET:

Neo - The last thing India wants to do is put more troops on the border. Doing so would just give the Taliban appeasers excuses they need to avoid confronting Pakistan's internal problems.

So-I see no problem with that. Let the Pakistanis be in turmoil for another few years until it realises by itself that it has to fight all terrorist groups.

Pakistan will never go after terrorists to please India and will do little to please the United States. In the end, the Taliban itself will force Pakistan's hand. The US can prop up the Pakistani government and it can poke and prod the conflict but we cannot fight it for the Pakistanis and it cannot sort out Pakistan's internal problems.

Exactly my point. If this is indeed the case, they can't use any excuses about troops on its eastern border.

India's best defense right now is hold it's ground, and get very serious about improving the overall quality of their security forces.

Nope - India should increase the troops, such that Pakistan has to put troops on their eastern border as well and then they will start loosing against the Taliban in Swat. And sometime down the line - they will realise they can't afford to take an anti-India stand.


Posted by Neo at June 2, 2009 11:29 PM ET:

So you would purposely sabotage Pakistan's best efforts to date because they don't go far enough? Interesting! A purposely counterproductive strategy.

Posted by dude40000 at June 2, 2009 11:59 PM ET:

We would purposely sabotage Pak's efforts against terrorists that are against US.

As of now, they are not bothering India. The terrorists that are against India are let free by courts so that they can go and train more to do more Mumbai.

As I said - Indian and American interests sometimes diverge, and this is one such example.

Posted by T Ruth at June 3, 2009 12:00 AM ET:

EVIL NATION.
Bankrupt ethically and financially to its core.
No self respecting country would have anything to do with it.
But America, despite the fresh eyes of a new presidency, continues to fail to see this insane state AS IT IS rather than how it SHOULD BE. Paying billions of dollars to a bunch of utterly corrupt goons to watch a bad movie. This is called a foreign and military policy!? After decades of a failed alliance with this failed nation, has America really learnt nothing?
At least India is watching it from a distance, however unsafe. Maybe its time for Uncle Sam to hold India's hand. At least the theatre is pretty dark...

Posted by T Ruth at June 3, 2009 12:10 AM ET:

Neo, what is Pakistan? And what are their "best efforts"? And "counterproductive" to whom?

Posted by dude40000 at June 3, 2009 12:24 AM ET:

Neo - You are completely underestimating the Indian anger over Mumbai. Its still fresh in our hearts.

Imagine if Pakistan had let free the mastermind of 9/11. Can you imagine American reaction to it?

Posted by Minnor at June 3, 2009 1:05 AM ET:

Actually Hafeez has left LeT long back, though he was heading banned Jamat-ud Dawa. Head of Mumbai plan attack is Lakhvi and Zarar, not Hafeez.

Also Indian media says same day Pak is raising Kashmir issue too. Actually Pak's remark on Kashmir came 2 days after an alleged double rape and murder by Indian troops in Kashmir valley.

Posted by Spooky at June 3, 2009 1:41 AM ET:

"Unfortunately, India can't pull the valve on Indus. If India does, China will pull the valve on the Brahmaputra."

Dude40000-

The Indians and Chinese are currently in a race to build a dam just where the river crosses the border. Neither has the ability to turn the valve there just yet. Besides, even if China could, it would cause problems to more than just India. They'd be in trouble with Bangladesh as well, whom they are trying to befriend for strategic purposes (as in, they want a base in the Bay of Bengal). So either way, China won't do jack.

On the other hand, India has already been accused by Pakistan of water stealing via its dams along their portion of the Indus. If Pakistan continues its waywardness in regards to terror, India can just make those accusations a reality.

Posted by BENGAL UNDER ATTACK at June 3, 2009 4:25 AM ET:

NEO is bang on - as usual !!

And I think while China can use the Brahmaputra valve, it may not do so, unless India ignites a war - which it wont.

I have written in my blog - Pakistan did what it was supposed to do - hence this release is not really a shocker.

India should eliminate Hafeez Sayeed and the top leaders. You must keep in mind that UK recently stopped India's effort to designate Masood Azhar as a terrorist in UN. China did the same - which was again expected. But does the UK behaviour shock you? Well, it does not to me.

You have to understand the whole game of geo-politics in the region and if India tries to take help of US / UK etc, it is doomed. It has to utilize its own resources to get alternatives that are beneficial to it.

Posted by Minnor at June 3, 2009 7:18 AM ET:

Hafeez is not considered as mastermind other than that he is head of Jamat ud Dawa. Lakhvi and Zarar Shah are masterminds of Mumbai attacks.

Also Indian media is highlighting Pak raised Kashmir issue the same day as provocation which is not true. Pak's comment on Kashmir was in response to alleged double rape and murder by Indian troops.

Posted by captainjohann at June 3, 2009 8:03 AM ET:

Hi all,
It is USA which has winked at this release. A way of starting a war like situation between the two nations. Even a 26/11 cannot be ruled out soon.USA , under Obama has eyes on INDIAN NUKES.

Posted by David M at June 3, 2009 9:32 AM ET:

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 06/03/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Posted by Neo at June 3, 2009 9:49 AM ET:

"It is USA which has winked at this release. A way of starting a war like situation between the two nations. Even a 26/11 cannot be ruled out soon.USA , under Obama has eyes on INDIAN NUKES."

So the Obama administration is secretly countravening it's own public policy? Evidence please!

I think the explanation for Hafez Saeed's release is relatively straight forward. The Pakistanis are obviously determined to pursue the Kashmir conflict, even at the cost of undermining much of their international position. The Islamist faction within Pakistan is still very strong, especially with regard to their long held animosity toward India. The legal establishment instead of vigorously pursuing a case against Hafaz Saeed, they would rather pursue a very narrow investigation than find legal loopholes to let him off.

Lately the Pakistani's seem to be less inclined to having their government overrun by crazed halfwits from the hills, but that new resolve only goes so far.

Posted by Abheek at June 3, 2009 2:23 PM ET:

If the enitre world (except China and some Arab countries) understands the danger that Pakistan is to civilised society - Why can't we gang up and just end the story that Pakistan is ??? Atleast our kids/grandkids would be able to hear those sweet words .. Once upon a time there was a country by name of ....

Posted by bard207 at June 3, 2009 2:43 PM ET:

Neo


So you would purposely sabotage Pakistan's best
efforts to date because they don't go far enough? Interesting! A purposely counterproductive strategy.


I think the explanation for Hafez Saeed's release is
relatively straight forward. The Pakistanis are obviously determined to pursue the Kashmir conflict, even at the cost of undermining much of their international position.

If Pakistan has 15,000 troops involved in the Swat operations and a fair percentage are Frontier Corps, then that is lacking in dedication & sincerity because it will take much more than that to eliminate the militants in Pakistan.

The recent court ruling freeing Hafiz Saeed again shows a lack of dedication & sincerity in cleaning up militants in their country.

In a hypothetical situation of India maintaining & even increasing a strong military presence on the border, things would likely decay even more internally in Pakistan. The reluctance in moving enough troops off of the Eastern border to make a difference in quelling the Islamic militants is already evident and India hasn't been that provocative yet.

What is the incentive for India to ease pressure on the Pakistani Army?

Even before the Mumbai attack, Pakistan was just piddling around and wasn't doing enough to control and pushback their militants.


India has two choices facing them for the future:

1. A Pakistani Army with nuclear weapons that is hostile to India and wants Kashmir

2. A fractured Pakistan with militants controlling even more areas than they do currently and the possibility that the nuclear weapons have been removed. The hostility & desire for Kashmir will still be there.


Why is #1 above that much more optimal than #2 from an Indian POV?

In an Alternate Universe, one could hope that the Pakistani Army would eventually realize that their militants are their #1 enemy and sincerely ask for cooperation from all countries (including India) so they could shift their entire focus to dealing with the militants. I am not holding my breath on that and will keep it in the Alternate Universe category.

Posted by Spooky at June 3, 2009 2:56 PM ET:

Unfortunately, not all the Islamists are crazy half-wits. Some are more along the likes of Nawaz Sharif. And thats why Pakistanis, while they may fight off the medivals, they can still easily be duped.

If Pakistan is doing this for a play on Kashmir, we might as well stop funding it now, because its a dead man walking. That country is on life support in every possible way. To waste that on the Kashmir conflict invites even more destabilization in its western provinces and Sindh.

Posted by nexus at June 3, 2009 9:42 PM ET:

It may be in India's best interest for Pakistan to remain in a continued, long-term, low grade civil war that keeps its military preoccupied on its western and southwestern fronts. That plus an upgrade of its land and sea defences is all that India can count on in the foreseeable future. As the saying goes, better fences make better neighbors.

Peace is not possible with a society as polarized as Pakistan is today. Perhaps one day that country will work through its problems and most of the power centers will either merge or be subdued. Or perhaps the country will balkanize itself and India may only have to deal with a Punjab and a Sindh. Whatever the outcome, lasting peace with India is not achieveable till there is a resolution of Pakistans current identity crisis.

And those who are hopeful at Pakistan's current progress against the Taliban, wait and watch. Pakistan is trying to use its military to fight a widespread ideology and that is the ultimate asymmetrical warfare.

Posted by JMS at June 4, 2009 3:46 AM ET:

>>Whatever the outcome, lasting peace with India is not achieveable till there is a resolution of Pakistans current identity crisis.


Which is the ultimate problem. Pakistan was created to be a liberal-democratic, Islamic state. The entire nation is a walking oxymoron -- it can either be one, or the other, but not both. I'm not sure that this tension between mutually contradictory concepts can ever be resolved, except by the ending of the state itself, or by some upheaval so large it would amount to pretty much the same thing (a revolution by secularists). Seems a long way away...

Posted by T Ruth at June 4, 2009 1:00 PM ET:

Polarized, identity crisis, oxymoron etc are mild terms or euphemisms to describe the Nation-equivalent of a psychopath.
This country, in reality, is all cracked up. The inevitable questions are:

1. how the dominos fall, and the process through which these cracks are ultimately formalised into its emergent pieces, and
2. how much blood is spilt in this barbaric process.

Pakistan, its components and successors, must find peace within its own multitude of (governmental, military, provincial, tribal, feudal, religious, even educational) [i haven't mentioned economy because there isn't one...at least not one worth a mention] fragments before it can find peace with India, Afghanistan, the US, yes the US, or anyone else in the world.

Posted by babag at June 4, 2009 7:19 PM ET:

"EVIL NATION.
Bankrupt ethically and financially to its core.
No self respecting country would have anything to do with it."

"I think India should increase forces on the border with Pakistan. "

"Why can't we gang up and just end the story that Pakistan is ???"

Wow. Are you guys for real? A group of hateful indians talking with eachother, spreading hate and wrong information. By the way, what happenned? According to one of you, Pakistan was suppose to disintegrate last week.
Bill, get rid of these morons, they are destroying your site.


Posted by NS at June 5, 2009 10:29 PM ET:

"Wow. Are you guys for real? A group of hateful indians talking with eachother, spreading hate and wrong information. By the way, what happenned? According to one of you, Pakistan was suppose to disintegrate last week."
Now, now there is no need to call people names here. And the "hate" spread by these commentators is nothing compared to the one that created Pakistan in the first place.

The country has already started disintegrating - if only you can wake up to it and not need the entire world to tell you that.

I dont know what kind of a "country" signs "peace" agreements with terrorists and has to be goaded by outside powers to take control of its own territory ! I dont know of too many countries where there are openly lawless regions which allow for terrorists to operate freely - Afghanistan is the only thing that comes close - and Somalia as well.

Bill, get rid of these morons, they are destroying your site.
This site has earned its reputation the hard way - no comments can "destroy" it.

Please cool down and debate people in a calm and rational manner instead of resorting to name calling.

Posted by Xavier at June 6, 2009 1:47 PM ET:

Wow. Are you guys for real? A group of hateful indians talking with eachother, spreading hate and wrong information.

Now cool down babag. I think you should start looking at 1956 Pakistani consitution which clearly states that
1. Only a muslim can be President
2. No law should be made against Quran and Sunnah (what abt democracy)

There are many more hateful requirements in 1956 constitution. See wiki. Now next consider the concept of Diyya(a concept from Sharia and Quran practiced in Saudi but in Pakistan limited to books, its complicated in Pak), according to which a Muslim man is worth 100000R and a Mus woman 50K R, while a Christian man/woman is worth 50K/25K R. Hindus are worth even less. see wiki article on Diyya.

Now tell me who is hateful here.

On the other hand show me such outright religious discrimination in US constitution. I guess even Indian constitution does not have such inhuman requirements.

Posted by Geographer at June 6, 2009 11:55 PM ET:

NS, Xavier

;-) And India is suuuuch a Beacon of tolerance

http://newsblaze.com/story/20090513135753zzzz.nb/topstory.html

We aint gonna get anywhere if you keep calling the other side the "fount of evil destabilization"

Chill...Out

Posted by Xavier at June 7, 2009 10:03 AM ET:

Geographer,

I don't know much about India but you missed point. I am talking about official policy. How people/society behaves is different. Lets me explain a little but of civics.

1. Officially no discrimination
2. Socially no discrimination
3. If social discrimination exists, law is enforced.

Pakistan is stuck at step 1. Discrimination is its official policy(read social studies text books of Pak and let me know if you find such hatred in any of US/Indian/Chinese text books). India(sometimes US too) is stuck at step 2. The difference between India and US happens at step 3. US enforces its law almost all the times while India enforces less frequently. Law enforcement has two components. Will and economy. Do the rulers have the will to enforce law and do they have resources to do it.

You can forgive a govt for not enforcing for lack of resources but not for lack of will.

Hope you get my point. Finally giving people a say is another important factor of civil society. Pakistan does not seem to do that(3-5 years of democracy for 10 years of dictatorship). India and US have done that.

Another way to answer your question is: US did eliminate(officially) racial discrimination by 1967. But the change did not take place until mid 90s. Society needs time to change according to the law. The only thing we can analyze at that point is if the society is moving in the right direction. I guess US and India mostly have been moving in the right direction. The aberrations have been decreasing. Both have been strengthening their democracies(though India has some way to go).

Now there is another problem with Pakistan. As mentioned earlier. Read its social studies text books. If you indoctrinate kids you get (part of them) Taliban out.

Posted by Xavier at June 7, 2009 10:28 AM ET:

Geographer,

Another way to answer your sarcasm:

In the US it is impossible to be elected President if one is not a Christian (come live here if you are not already). The point is that there is no law saying that a non-Christian cannot be President.

I do not think anyone complains about that coz there is no official discrimination. People are free to choose within the law(i.e no barring non-Christians).

Sometime ago in the US violence against certain sections, even though officially illegal, used to be overlooked. Now its very rare. The key point again is that there is no official law that is discriminatory.

Posted by Viliger at June 7, 2009 2:16 PM ET:

";-) And India is suuuuch a Beacon of tolerance"

Geographer, the story is about Hafiz Saeed and his alleged involvement in terrorist activity in India. It is NOT about India per se.(India is not part of The Long War, that is a fact.) So, let me highlight for you a fundamentally important part of Bill's well-researched piece..,
"Forget what you are seeing in Swat," an intelligence official closely watching Pakistan told The Long War Journal. "More than six months after Mumbai, there has yet to be a single conviction or even a trial of anyone involved in the attack. Pakistan does not have the capacity to try and convict known terrorists."

"Saeed is untouchable, and don't think the courts and the police don't know this," another official said, warning that the continuous policy of releasing of leaders like Saeed, Red Mosque leader Maulana Abdullah Aziz, and others is sending a terrible message to those on the front lines against the terror groups.

"As long as he and others like him are free, Pakistan will remain a terror state," the official said. "Until Pakistan shows it is serious about taking down the leadership of the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, these groups will regenerate and prosper. And law enforcement in Pakistan will shy away from taking them on."

Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba have extensive links with al Qaeda and Pakistan's military intelligence service

Hafiz Saeed is the founder and leader of the al Qaeda-linked Laskhar-e-Taiba, or Army of the Righteous. India has implicated Lashkar-e-Taiba and Saeed as being behind the Mumbai terror attack. Saeed and the Laskhar-e-Taiba have strong links with elements within Pakistan's military and the Inter-Service Intelligence agency, or ISI."

So the US intel official is saying that Pakistan is a terror state. And the article is suggesting that HS has the patronage of the ISI.

Now pls read the first para on the famous "axis of evil" remark from wikipedia:
"Axis of evil" is a term coined by United States President George W. Bush in his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002 in order to describe governments that he accused of helping terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction. President Bush named Iran, Iraq and North Korea in his speech. President Bush's presidency was marked by this notion as a justification for the War on Terror."
While i'm tempted to say QED, why don't we leave it to reviewers to come to there own conclusion.

Bear in mind also PM Gordon Browns recent remark about the "crucible of terrorism".