Jamaat ud-Dawwa’s (JuD’s) leader Hafiz Saeed recently published an “open letter” to Pakistan’s parliament, protesting its decision to restore on-land NATO supply routes and “conditional re-engagement” with the U.S. The pamphlet bears the letterhead of the JuD, but appears to speak on behalf of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), further confirming the futility in attempts to distinguish between the two, or indeed between the DPC and the MJC brotherhood. This “open letter” was brought to light by journalist Omar Quraishi (thanks to @Vikram_Sood for the link) . The pamphlet was pasted outside one of Karachi’s most upscale stores (اردو).
To the Members of Parliament:
As you are aware, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) has presented its recommendations on relations with the U.S. and the issue of NATO’s supply lines during the joint parliamentary session on March 20, 2012. News reports indicate that NATO supply lines are being restored due to U.S. pressure. It is also allegedly being proposed that taxes on NATO supplies be increased and that 50 per cent of the traffic be transported via rail.
The Difa-e-Pakistan Council has already communicated its thoughts to the Parliament on the above proposals, and would further like to remind the Parliament that:
- Parvez Musharraf entered into secret and verbal agreements with the U.S. that ultimately were detrimental to our own security and to the security of our Afghan brothers. However, if these agreements are now being given formal consent via the Parliament, it sets a very dangerous precedent.
- The East India Company had also entered into similar agreements with the Mughal Empire, which resulted in the colonization of India. If the Parliament accedes to these agreements, Pakistan’s sovereignty will no doubt be compromised.
- We must be cognizant of the fact that restoration of on-land access routes to NATO will negatively impact our relations with China.
- The bold bipartisan decision to ban NATO supply routes after the Salala incident brought confidence to the people of Pakistan. However, if these routes were to be reauthorized, it would create confusion and instability in our country.
- It is indeed worrying that India is being given on-land access to Afghanistan and West Asia via Pakistan. In fact, this presents a far greater risk to Pakistan than the restoration of supply routes to NATO. The U.S. and India have recently concluded joint military exercises in Rajasthan. Granting India route access to Afghanistan via Pakistan and entering into trade agreements with that country present a security threat to Pakistan and risks annoying friendly nations such as China.
- We must consider that NATO containers travel through all provinces of Pakistan and have previously been targeted and could be targeted yet again if supply routes are restored. Thus, the U.S. might use repeated attacks on its trucks as a ruse to invade or establish a military foothold inside Pakistan, claiming a lack of confidence in the Pakistani armed forces’ ability to safeguard their assets.
- The U.S. has never honored any of its agreements with Pakistan. It instead blamed Pakistan for the Salala altercation. Are we about to endorse these actions, and that too via our own Parliament? Would this happen, Pakistan will be engulfed yet again by the flames of terrorism fanned by the likes of the U.S., NATO and India.
Dear Members of Parliament, we ask that you consider our requests objectively. We ask that you depart from the tradition of parochial policy-making and think instead of Pakistan’s citizens and its future generations. If you were to make your decisions against the will of the people of Pakistan, it will hurt the nation and our Afghan brothers. Please remember that those helping people who burn the Quran and kill our brothers will be accountable for their sins in this life and beyond. May Allah assist you in doing right by your people.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
Ameer, Jamaat ud-Dawwa Pakistan [Source]
The “open letter” is interesting because where India and the U.S. are concerned, the LeT/JuD (unlike other jihadi outfits) has seldom differed with sponsors in Rawalpindi. However, it would also be nearly impossible for a decision in Pakistan’s parliament to have been concluded on the future of ties with the U.S. and on NATO supply routes without consultation and approval from GHQ.
Effectively, the GHQ is being drawn into making compromises on U.S. demands out of reluctance yet again, as it was at the beginning of U.S. operations in Afghanistan in 2001. It has since pursued a policy of supporting U.S.-led operations, while covertly attempting to undermine them. Lt. Gen. Nadeem Taj’s antics, the Haqqani network’s activities inside Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden’s discovery in Abbottabad are but examples of Pakistan’s attempts at subversion.
While Rawalpindi might have agreed ostensibly to restore NATO supply routes, it does so out of necessity and with every intention to keep the pressure on the U.S. and allied forces with 2014 in mind. To that end, it might employ a series of agents to do its bidding. Historically, groups such as the LeT have been primarily been India-focused. But this might be changing if Rawalpindi is committed to temporary bonhomie with India. The recent attacks by the Taliban in Kabul and not-so-subtle threats in bullet #6 above might be harbingers of a dangerous summer.