Punjab’s government defies the double-game-playing Pakistani government and openly supports a banned jihadist group. “VIEW: Punjab government funding Jamaat-ud-Dawa,” by Naeem Tahir in the Daily Times, June 26 (thanks to Kisan):
The United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on JuD, declaring it a global terrorist group. Pakistan’s government also banned the JuD on the same day and issued an order to seal the JuD offices in all four provinces.
The chief minister of Punjab has allocated funds of Rs 86 million to the suspected terror nursery of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in Muridke, defying the ban on the organisation by the federal government. The JuD is alleged to have been involved in the Mumbai attacks. What message will be delivered to India at a time when peace is being talked about? Is this how we bridge the trust deficit? On the other hand, an almost Rs 100 million cut has been made in the funds for culture and youth affairs. The Punjab budget 2010-11 of the chote Mian Sahib speaks of his preferences.
These matters have been reported by two important newspapers in the country. Others in the media are either in a state of disbelief and total shock, or have grown insensitive to whatever happens and have just given up. […]
Funds to the JuD of Muridke are being provided by the CM of the largest province in the federation, while the amir of JuD is also the founder of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT). According to media reports, the JuD and LeT have been accused by the US of training the gunmen of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. […]
In the US anti-terrorism circles, it is also known as Jamaat ud Dawa il al Quran al Sunnah (JDQ). A detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who is a poet and a journalist, is said to have stated during his interrogation that “the JDQ has a military wing and practises assassination”.
An Indian journalist, Harinder Baweja, who was provided access to the Muridke centre of JuD, quotes the following dialogue with his guide: “Do you support Lashkar-e-Tayyaba?” Response: “We used to.” Question: “You used to?” Response: “Yes, we were like-minded, but the group was banned after Indian propaganda following the attack on parliament, which was done by Jaish-e-Mohammed and not the Lashkar. We used to provide logistic support to them, collect funds for them and look after their publicity.” Question: “Did you also provide them with arms?” Response: “They must have bought weapons with the money we gave them. They were obviously not using the money to buy flowers for the Indian army.” The author further says that Amir Ajmal Kasab confessed to having received training at Muridke.
After all this, Punjab is officially providing funds to JuD on some pretext. With this kind of background, how can the Khadim-e-Aala Punjab, the chote Mian Sahib, be so naive as to commit public funds to such an organisation? In his defence, one can only say that he may have been busy with his usual ‘lunch and lassi’ while some motivated bureaucrat slipped in the funding support to the JuD quietly, and our CM knows nothing about it. Hard to believe! But what else should we think?
The only alternate theory is that the CM has sympathies with the JuD. He is prepared to turn his face the other way from their terror activities, and even the most recent attack on the Ahmedis. Accordingly, the CM likes to ignore his law minister’s contacts with jihadi organisations and supports the nurseries of terrorists. Finally, the CM is prepared to confront the federation against the ban on the JuD! Suspicions also arise about the billions of rupees kept as block provisions in the budget, which are in fact additions to the CM’s discretionary funds. Where will these funds end up?
One wonders what the representative of the federal government to Punjab, the governor, thinks of this funding and the defiance of the federal ban. Does he also endorse the cut in the funds for culture and youth affairs? Is there anything in his powers to correct this situation?
Or does he even care to do so?