Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (Urdu: حافظ محمد سعید, born 5 June 1950) is a Pakistani Islamist militant, who is a co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the chief of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD),operating mainly from Pakistan. . In April 2012, the United States announced a bounty of $10 million on Saeed for his alleged role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 164 civilians including 6 Americans. While India supported the US move, there were protests against it in Pakistan.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
حافظ محمد سعید
|Born||5 June 1950|
|Occupation||Islamic Terrorism commander Terrorism|
|Leader of |
India considers Saeed a most wanted terrorist because of his ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba and his alleged involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the 2006 Mumbai train bombings, and the 2001 Indian Parliament attack. Saeed is listed on the NIA Most Wanted list and India has banned his organisations LeT and JuD as terrorist organisations. The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and Australia have also banned Lashkar-e-Taiba. India has demanded that Saeed be handed over to them by Pakistan but there is no extradition treaty between the two countries. Saeed has denied ever being a leader of LeT and said allegations that he planned attacks in India were baseless.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was born in a family of Sargodha, Punjab. As told by him, his father, Kamal-ud-Din, a farmer, along with his family started migrating from East Punjab and reached Pakistan in around four months in the autumn of 1947. His family lost 36 of its members when migrating from Hisar, Haryana (erstwhile Punjab) to Lahore during the Partition of India.
A major early influence on his life and ideology was his maternal uncle, and later father-in-law, Hafiz Abdullah Bahawalpuri, who was a famed theologian belonging to the Ahl-e-Hadith, a Wahhabi group considered the most extreme in its theological positions, who held that democracy was incompatible with Islam (which alienated him with Maulana Maududi's Jamaat-e-Islami) and argued, on the importance of jihad, "that only in jihad does one offer one’s life in the way of Allah, which elevates it to a higher plane than merely fulfilling other religious responsibilities such as saying prayers and paying zakat, also entailing sacrifices and adjustments, but not at the scale evident in jihad" and "considered shahadat (martyrdom) to be the crux of jihad." Bahawalpuri's only son, Abdul Rehman Makki, is Saeed's brother-in-law and has been described as "his close partner."
General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq appointed Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to the Council on Islamic Ideology, and he later served as an Islamic Studies teacher at the University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan. He was sent to Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s by the university for higher studies where he met Saudi sheikhs who were taking part in the Soviet–Afghan War. They inspired him in taking an active role supporting the mujahideen in Afghanistan. During his studies at the King Saud University, where he was Gold Medalist for his academic performances as well as taught there, he came under the influence of Salafi scholars like Shaykh Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen and especially Shaykh Ibn Baz.
Lashkar's primary target is the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. He is also quoted as saying, "There cannot be any peace while India remains intact. Cut them, cut them so much that they kneel before you and ask for mercy."
In 1994, Saeed visited the United States and "spoke at Islamic centres in Houston, Chicago and Boston".
Pakistan took Saeed into custody on 21 December 2001 due to an Indian government assertion that he was involved in the 13 December 2001 attack on the Lok Sabha. He was held until 31 March 2002, released, then taken back into custody on 15 May. He was placed under house arrest on 31 October 2002 after his wife Maimoona Saeed sued the province of Punjab and the Pakistan federal government for what she claimed was an illegal detention.
After the July 11, 2006 Mumbai train bombings, the provincial government of Punjab, Pakistan arrested him on 9 August 2006 and kept him under house arrest but he was released on 28 August 2006 after a Lahore High Court order. He was arrested again on the same day by the provincial government and was kept in the Canal Rest House in Sheikhupura. He was finally released after the Lahore High Court order on 17 October 2006.
After the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, India submitted a formal request to the U.N. Security Council to put the group Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on the list of individuals and organisations sanctioned by the United Nations for association with terrorism. India has accused the organisation and its leader, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, of being virtually interchangeable with Lashkar-e-Taiba. India said that the close links between the organisations, as well as the 2,500 offices and 11 seminaries that Jamaat-ud-Dawa maintains in Pakistan, "are of immediate concern with regard to their efforts to mobilise and orchestrate terrorist activities." On 10 December 2008, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed denied a link between LeT and JuD in an interview with Pakistan's Geo television stating that "no Lashkar-e-Taiba man is in Jamaat-ud-Dawa and I have never been a chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba."
On 11 December 2008, Hafiz Muhammed Saeed was again placed under house arrest when the United Nations declared Jamaat-ud-Dawa to be an LeT front. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was held in house arrest under the Maintenance of Public Order law, which allows authorities to detain temporarily individuals deemed likely to create disorder, until early June 2009 when the Lahore High Court, deeming the containment to be unconstitutional, ordered Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to be released. India quickly expressed its disappointment with the decision.
Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was again placed under house arrest by the Pakistani authorities in September 2009.
On 12 October 2009, the Lahore High Court quashed all cases against Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and set him free. The court also notified that Jama'at-ud-Da'wah is not a banned organisation and can work freely in Pakistan. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of two judges hearing the case, observed "In the name of terrorism we cannot brutalise the law."
Indian attempts at extraditionEdit
On 11 May 2011, in an effort to place pressure on Pakistan, India publicly revealed a list of its 50 most wanted fugitives hiding in Pakistan. India believes Hafiz Saeed is a fugitive, but the Indian arrest warrant had no influence in Pakistan and presently has no effect on Saeed's movements within Pakistan. Following the Lahore High Court ruling, Saeed has been moving freely around the country. For many years, India has demanded that Saeed be handed over but there is no extradition treaty between the two countries.
Declaration as a terrorist by the United StatesEdit
The United States declared two Lashkar-e-Tayyiba leaders – Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry and Muhammad Hussein Gill – specially designated global terrorists. The State Department also maintained LeT's designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation and added the following aliases to its listing of LeT: Jama’at-ud-Dawa, Al-Anfal Trust, Tehrik-i-Hurmat-i-Rasool, and Tehrik-i-Tahafuz Qibla Awwal. The Department of Treasury said that LeT was responsible for the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai which killed nearly 200 people. The group's leader is Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who is listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267.
Cooperation with IslamabadEdit
In keeping with Pakistani establishment's wishes, Lashkar has been keeping focus on India and Saeed is among those who are thought to have helped Pakistan in capturing important al-Qaeda members like Abu Zubaydah. Senior Pakistani officials have said that Saeed is helping in de-radicalization and rehabilitation of former extremists and that security is being provided to him because he could be targeted by militants who disapprove of Saeed's co-operation with Islamabad.
In April 2012, the United States announced a bounty of US$10 million on Hafeez Saeed, for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Saeed stated that he had nothing to do with the Mumbai attacks and condemned them. When asked about the bounty, Saeed replied, "I am living my life in the open and the US can contact me whenever they want." He subsequently stated that he was ready to face "any American court" to answer the charges and added that if Washington wanted to contact him they knew where he was. "This is a laughable, absurd announcement. Here I am in front of everyone, not hiding in a cave," he said in a press conference. Saeed identified his leading role in the Difa-e-Pakistan council and US attempts to placate India as reasons behind the bounty.
Hafiz Saeed has criticised Pakistani leaders and has stated that they should aspire to be more like British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson. He had declared his admiration for the British Conservative Party along with several Tory MPs when he lodged a petition to the Lahore High Court calling for public officials in Pakistan to tone down their privileged lifestyles. According to The Daily Telegraph, Saeed wrote in the petition that while Pakistan's political elite were 'living like kings and princes in palatial government houses,' Britain's prime minister lived in a 'four-bedroom flat.' He added, 'When the sun never set on the British Empire, the chief executive of that great country lived in the same house of a few marlas in a small street. That is truly Islamic, that is like following the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet.'
Speaking on the issue of arrest of separatist Kashmiri leader Masarat Alam by the Jammu and Kashmir government, Saeed said, "Jihad is the duty of an Islamic government... there is a government in Pakistan and it has always taken the stand that it is the right of Kashmiris to attain freedom. I say what our Army will do to secure the right of the Kashmiris is jihad... We extend help to Kashmiris alongside government... we call this jihad."
Criticizing his anti-India comments, Indian Muslim leader Asaduddin Owaisi said, "People like Hafiz Saeed are unaware about teachings of Islam, jihad in Islam. They are killing innocent lives in Pakistan, children are being killed. They are using Pakistan for maligning another country. The Government of India should take strict action against it and I condemn his comments in clear and strong words."
In January 2013, India's then Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde released a statement on the alleged existence of Hindu terrorism as well as the existence of Hindu terror camps on Indian soil, being run and organised by the BJP and the RSS. As a result, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa welcomed Shinde's statements and congratulated him for admitting the existence of Hindu terrorism. Hafiz Saeed demanded that the United States take serious notice of this statement by the Indian home minister regarding Hindu terrorist camps in India. "The US should now carry out drone attacks on these terror camps in India," Saeed said.
In September 2014, Saeed accused India of "water terrorism". Though there was flood crisis in India too, Saeed blamed India for flood crisis in Pakistan. In several tweets on social media he said, "Indian gov discharged water in rivers without notification & has given false information; an act of open mischief," "India has used water to attack Pakistan, We are in state of War. India's water aggression must be taken to the UN security council."
Responding to a question about the nuclear warning issued by Indian authorities in Jammu and Kashmir after the 2013 India–Pakistan border incidents, Saeed said that in case of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, India should distribute nuclear safety pamphlets in Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta rather than in Kashmir.
Punjabi as national languageEdit
Hafiz Saeed has questioned Pakistan's decision to adopt Urdu (only 8% of Pakistanis speak Urdu as a first language) as its national language in a country where the majority of people speak the Punjabi language. He advocated that Punjabi should be made the national language.
- "Wanted: Information that brings to justice Hafiz Saeed". Rewards for Justice. Archived from the original on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "SECURITY COUNCIL AL-QAIDA AND TALIBAN SANCTIONS COMMITTEE ADDS NAMES OF FOUR INDIVIDUALS TO CONSOLIDATED LIST, AMENDS ENTRIES OF THREE ENTITIES". www.un.org. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- Shahzad, Asif (17 August 2017). "Charity run by Pakistani Islamist with $10 million bounty launches political party". Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "US puts $10m bounty on Lashkar-e-Taiba's Hafiz Saeed". BBC News. 3 April 2012. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- Mahmood, Amjad (7 December 2014). "Footprints: JuD's show of strength". Dawn.com. Archived from the original on 9 December 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Jamaat-ud-Dawah website-Organization". Archived from the original on 16 July 2018.
- Roggio, Bill (11 December 2008). "UN declares Jamaat-ud-Dawa a terrorist front group". The Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 17 December 2008.
- "India welcomes $10 million bounty on Hafiz Saeed". NDTV. 3 April 2012. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "Thousands protest against US bounty on Hafiz Saeed". JAAG TV. CNBC Pakistan. 2 January 2015. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "India will be forced to Kashmir just like US in Afghanistan: Hafiz Saeed". India Today. 13 January 2014. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- "National Investigation Agency Most Wanted". Government of India. Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- India's most wanted. 19. Frontline. 2002. ISBN 0-06-621063-1. Archived from the original on 23 September 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- "Banned Organisations". Ministry of Home Affairs. Government of India. 30 March 2015. Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
- USA redesignates Pakistan-based terror groups The Tribune
- "Lashkar-e-Toiba". South Asia Terrorism Portal. Archived from the original on 24 May 2012.
It is also a banned organization in Britain since March 30, 2001.
- "Council Decision of 22 December 2003". Eur-lex.
- Terror list out Arab Times
- Australian National Security, Listing of Terrorism Organisations Attorney-General's Department Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Roggio, Bill (11 December 2008). "UN declares Jamaat-ud-Dawa a terrorist front group". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- Joshi, Sandeep (29 May 2012). "Pakistan relents on extradition treaty". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "Third Mumbai Terrorist Suspect Placed Under House Arrest; Charity a Front Group For Terrorist Organization". Fox News. 10 December 2008. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
- "Jamaat chief rejects Indian charges". Al Jazeera English. Aljazeera IT. 18 February 2010. Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- "Noose tightens around Hafiz Saeed, LT and Jamaatud Daawa". Dailytimes.com.pk. 12 December 2008. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- Swami, Praveen (9 December 2008). "Pakistan and the Lashkar's jihad in India". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 12 December 2008.
- Saeed, Hafiz (8 April 2012). "My Story". The Indian Express. The Indian Express [P] Ltd. Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "Professor of Hate: why Hafeez Saeed is mad at India" (4 April 2012), Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
- Samina Yasmeen, Jihad and Dawah: Evolving Narratives of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamat ud Dawah, Oxford University Press (2017), pp. 52-54
- Amir Mir, The true face of jehadis, Mashal Books (2004), p. 108
- "Who is Hafiz Saeed?". Times of India. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- Samina Yasmeen, "Narratives of Jihad and Islamic Identity: JUD/LeT and the Gulf Connection(s)" in Christophe Jaffrelot & Laurence Louer (ed.), Pan-Islamic Connections: Transnational Networks Between South Asia and the Gulf, Oxford University Press (2018), p. 76
- "Professor Hafiz Muhammad Saeed". PakistaniLeaders.com. 2007. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
- Schmitt, Eric (7 December 2008). "Pakistan's Spies Aided Group Tied to Mumbai Siege". The New York Times.
- Rahman, Maseeh; Jones, Sam (1 December 2008). "Rumours abound as inquiry begins its search for truth". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
- Roy, Arundhati (13 December 2008). "The Monster in the Mirror". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
- WALSH, DECLAN (7 February 2013). "Pakistani Militant, Price on Head, Lives in Open". The New York Times. p. 2/7/13 N.Y. Times A1.
- "Hafiz Saeed case – LHC seeks reply from Punjab, Centre". Dailytimes.com.pk. 12 November 2002. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009.
- "LHC orders release of Hafiz Saeed". Dawn. 18 October 2006. Archived from the original on 27 October 2010.
- Subramanian, Nirupama (18 October 2006). "Court orders Hafiz Saeed's release". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
- McFarquhar, Neil. India wants Pakistani group added to UN's terrorism list, The New York Times, 9 December 2008.
- Khan, M Ilyas (2 June 2009). "Profile: Hafiz Mohammad Saeed". Islamabad: BBC News. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
- "Pakistan releases 'top militant'". BBC News. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
- Shazad, Asif (6 July 2009). "Pakistan appeals ruling to release Mumbai suspect". Associated Press. Retrieved 7 July 2009.[dead link]
- Gangadharan, Surya (27 August 2009). "Interpol notice against Saeed adds to Pak worries". IBN. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
- "Pakistan curbs on Mumbai accused". BBC News. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Nadeem, Atif (13 October 2009). "LHC orders quashing of FIRs against Hafiz Saeed". The News. Retrieved 19 October 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "ISI's major Iqbal, LeT chief Saeed in India's most-wanted list". The Economic Times. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- Anwar Iqbal. "US puts two LeT leaders on global terrorists list". Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Georgy, Michael (6 April 2012). "Exclusive: Pakistani with U.S. bounty said helping de-radicalize militants". Reuters. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- "Hafiz Saeed responds to US bounty". The News International, Pakistan. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Pakistan militant taunts US over $10m bounty". ABC News. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Hafiz Saeed rejects US terrorism accusations". Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Habib, Nasir (5 April 2012). "Pakistan wants to see 'concrete evidence' on suspect sought by U.S." CNN. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "No such thing as bad publicity? Boris and Dave get a ringing endorsement... from one of the world's most feared terrorists". Daily Mail. London.
- "Saeed: Jihad in concert with Pak. Army". The Hindu. 19 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "Hafiz Saeed: We support Pakistan army's 'jihad' in Kashmir". The Times of India. 18 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "Hafiz Saeed unaware about teachings of Islam: Asaduddin Owaisi". Zee News. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "Hafiz Saeed unaware about 'jihad' in Islam: Asaduddin Owaisi". India TV News. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "BJP to hold nationwide protest against Shinde's Hindu terror camps remark". IBNLive. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "LeT, JuD have congratulated Sushilkumar Shinde for his claims on Hindu terror: RSS". DNA. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- "Hafiz Saeed blames India for Pakistan floods, calls it 'water terrorism' – Times of India".
- "Hafiz Saeed blames India for flood in Pakistan; accuses Narendra Modi government of 'water terrorism' – Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 9 September 2014.
- "India behind Pakistan floods, tweets Hafiz Saeed".
- "Hafiz Saeed blames 'water terrorism' by India for Kashmir floods". 9 September 2014.
- "JuD chief Hafiz Saeed says India flooded Pakistan, alleges 'water terrorism' – Firstpost". 10 September 2014.
- "'Friendly advice': Hafiz Saeed 'advises' Shahrukh Khan to move to Pakistan". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Pakistan should have adopted Punjabi as national language: Hafiz Saeed". Hindustan Times. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "26/11 Mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s Terror Group Jamaat-ud-Dawa banned in Pakistan", 'DBPOST. 22 FEBRUARY 2019.