Hafiz Saeed involved in ‘de-radicalization and rehabilitation’ of jihadis, says Pakistani CT official

If you want to see just how serious Pakistan is about fighting terrorism, look no further than the way the country treats Lashkar-e-Taiba emir Hafiz Saeed. Just days after the US put out a $10 million bounty for information leading to his arrest and prosecution, an unnamed Pakistani counterterrorism official wants you to believe that Saeed is actually a good guy who is helping to de-radicalize Islamist terrorists in Pakistan. Seriously. From Reuters:

“Hafiz Saeed has agreed with the Punjab government program of de-radicalization and rehabilitation of former jihadis and extended full cooperation,” the counter-terrorism official told Reuters.

The counter-terrorism official said that Saeed had not been paid for his de-radicalization activities.

A senior police official in Punjab province, who is closely involved with investigations into militant activity, confirmed that Saeed and his supporters were helping efforts to transform militants into law-abiding citizens.

“Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) were consulted, and they approved the de-radicalization plan. They assured us of their intellectual input and resource materials. They also offered teachers,” he told Reuters, referring to the charity Saeed heads.

The bounty highlighted the divide between the United States’ direct approach to tackling militancy, and strategies employed by Pakistan, a nuclear-armed South Asian nation seen as critical to U.S. efforts to pacifying Afghanistan.

While Pakistan has mounted offensives against militant groups like the homegrown Taliban, it also contends other tactics such as de-radicalization are vital to sustaining battlefield gains.

Yahya Mujahid, the JuD spokesman, said the group had not participated in the de-radicalization program.

Hafiz Khalid Waleed, another senior JuD member, declined to comment on whether the Islamist leader had been directly assisting the government in de-radicalization.

But he said Saeed and his followers were promoting non-violence.

“Hafiz Saeed was one of the first religious leaders to denounce militancy and suicide bombings,” said Waleed. “Our schools and madrassas (religious seminaries) are urging peace.”

The Pakistani official doesn’t tell you when Saeed decided it was time to “de-radicalize” jihadists. Was it after he cooperated with Osama bin Laden to plot and execute the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008? Or was it after he publicly praised Osama bin Laden following the killing of the al Qaeda emir by US Navy SEALs, when Saeed said, “Osama bin Laden has rendered great sacrifices for Islam and Muslims, and these will always be remembered,” as Saeed’s followers chanted “Down with America” and “Down with Obama”? We’re curious.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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14 Comments

  • villiger says:

    How does Reuters even think of publishing such utter and incredible nonsense?
    But only in Paqistan would you find such weasels.

  • Villiger says:

    I would implore everybody to start calling this terror-nation PAQISTAN. Three good reasons why:
    1. AQ has its roots in that country and is completely and inseparably intertwined into its ‘establishment’ and fabric.
    2. Pakistani is a very long word with 4-syllables and unlike Venezuela, we do have to use it way too often because of their disproportionate mischief. When abbreviated to Paki, it is considered derogatory. So Paqistan lends itself to a convenient abbreviation of Paqi, not classified as derogatory.
    3. Some Paqis claim that the K in the name denotes Kashmir. Well, we all know that they are unfit to manage even the territory they have, leave alone their claims. Pakistan has forfeited its claim to Kashmir in the eyes of the civilised world. So we can now drop the K and adopt the Q which helps complete the reality.

  • Nic says:

    This story sounds like a variation of a story already covered by LWJ: //www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2011/06/the_onions_satire_on_pakistani.php

  • adam says:

    “says Pakistani official” oh, okay, seems legit. because, you know, the Pakistanis are such a good source. What’s that pakistan? you had no idea bin Laden was living in a mansion within stone throwing distance of one of your military academies? right. now tell me, which terrorist is dead or alive, because honestly you claim a terrorist that’s alive is dead more times in one week than the amount of times i do pull-ups.

  • Neo says:

    I see what they’re doing here. It just depends on how brooooooooooadly you want to interpret de-radicalization. Will Hafiz Saeed help Pakistan with its radical problem, as long as Pakistan is no longer cooperating with the United States? It’s plausible. Who better to convince the anti-Pakistani “Bad Taliban” of the error of their ways and make them into anti-Western “Good Taliban” to send into Afghanistan or Kashmir. In certain circles this is what they call “a plan”. If you’ve got lemons, make lemonade.

  • Charu says:

    Seriously? How stupid do they think that everyone else is? This is more a reflection of how deluded Pakistan’s leadership is. The US isn’t the same as pusillanimous India who has the world record for turning the other cheek. A case is certainly being built up on phone intercepts and other means of surveillance, as well as the Abbottabad documents, that will eventually lead to his capture or his elimination. Pakistan will soon find that its claims of state sovereignty mean nothing if it continues to be run like a Mafia state; that is what bin Laden found out, and what its 24 frontier troops who shot at NATO, even after repeated warnings, found to their detriment.

  • David says:

    Now THAT’s chutzpah! First Prize! Wow!

  • Vienna,April 8,2012
    I salute villager. Paqistan is indeed the proud
    Arabised name would go viral in Paqistani web.
    The mob would rename Kashmir Qasimir! Just
    wait Allah Hafiz MPBUH Saeed would be celebrated
    as saviour of Paqistan by deradicalization. The
    road route would be open for withdrawal of forces
    from Afghanistan! After all 2014 is fast approching.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Moinitoring TTTMM
    India–Kulamarva Balakrishna

  • Knighthawk says:

    Pure comedy.

  • bob says:

    You know, the entire country (Pakistan) is wacko. Last weekend I was buying a new Honda here in Houston, and spoke with the sales mgr, who claims he was an ex-Pakistani army Colonel, and “knows how to cut deals”. Well……..this guy couldn’t deal his way out of a paper-bag. Changing the price each second, going back-n-forth between one price and another – even making “deals” on cars that didn’t exist in his inventory – this guy was a classic idiot Although he was humerous to work with and did provide some entertainment value, We eventually decided to end the fun by going to another dealership and negotiating with them. Ahh…no fuss, no muss. That’s how you do it, just walk away and go with somebody else.

  • Devin Leonard says:

    Saeed needs to be visited by a drone or a Tier 1 unit…this will wipe the smile off his face and shut his mouth for good…and who cares what the Pakis think about us invading their territory again. Just cut their aid and be done with them if they pitch a fit. I am truly sick of Pakistan.

  • Villiger says:

    Kulamarva Balakrishna, thank you and stay well!

  • Neonmeat says:

    At some point the world just needs to turn off the radio and stop listening to the drivel that spills from the mouths of these ‘Officials’. When every word is clearly a lie, in fact a terrible lie, I do not even know how they can say them with a straight face.
    Sometimes the state of Pakistan just makes me want to laugh but then I want to cry.
    Pakistani people are so jingoistic and pridefull of their country, and that is fair enough, but this seems to blind them to the facts on the ground. Pakistan is a religious and political mess, when politicians are murdered and their killers are lauded as heroes by lawyers and police men it just leaves me open mouthed in disbelief that the country has not yet totally fallen apart.

  • Villiger says:

    Devin,
    “and who cares what the Pakis think about us invading their territory again.”
    Thats the spirit, although i’d like to see this guy swooped up in a kidnap operation and then be put on public trial at the International Court.

    Neonmeat,
    (Gilani, i don’t know much about.)
    Zardari’s religion is money/corruption.
    Kayani’s religion is money/corruption, militancy and alcohol.
    This is the content of Islam in Paqistan. What can one expect of them? I wonder if there is a silent majority that just doesn’t have the wherewithal to do a fig about it?

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