Here is an excellent reason why upping Pakistan’s aid from about $500 million a year to $1.5 billion a year was and still is a terrible idea. Last year, the provincial government of Punjab handed over $951,000 to Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the thinly veiled front group for Hafiz Saeed’s Lashkar-e-Taiba. This is the same group that launched the Mumbai assault in November 2008 and has participated in numerous raids against US forces in eastern Afghanistan. From India Today:
The government of Pakistan’s Punjab province provided Rs 82.77 million to Jamaat-ud-Dawah and its allied institutions during the last fiscal year, according to official documents.
The supplementary budget for the past fiscal tabled in the Punjab assembly for approval revealed that the PML-N-led provincial government made a grant of over Rs 79 million to the Markaz-e-Tayyaba, the JuD headquarters in Muridke near Lahore.
Another Rs 3 million was given as grants to schools run by the JuD in different districts of Punjab, according to the official documents.
Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, under a cloud for his links to banned groups like the Sipah-e-Sahaba, admitted that the money had been given to the JuD.
He told a TV news channel on Tuesday that the money was given to these institutions after the JuD was “banned” in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the Punjab government appointed an administrator for the organisation.
For those who wish to dismiss this as an Indian plot to defame Saeed & Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawa, you can read the Pakistani version at Dawn.
Just a reminder, Punjab Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah is under fire for publicly campaigning with top leaders of the radical Sipah-e-Sahaba, the forerunner to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an al Qaeda pawn that provides muscle for the terror group. Sanaullah is known to have links to other terror groups and has denied that terror groups operate in force in South Punjab. A group of Pakistani religious leaders recently called for Sanaullah’s dismissal.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.