No one from LeT, its incarnates on the list
Under attack for being soft on jihadi outfits — because of a tacit understanding the outfits have with the Pakistan Muslim League of former Premier Nawaz Sharif — the Punjab Police have recently updated their list of most wanted terrorists to include a number of people from the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) — being held responsible for the series of sectarian attacks across the country in recent months.
The list of 109 wanted terrorists primarily includes men from LeJ, its affiliate Sipah-e-Sahaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and various factions of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. The list is lead by Mati-ur-Rehman — with head money of Rs. one crore — for several attacks including an attempted suicide attack on former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
No one from the Lashkar-e-Taiba or its incarnates is included in the list which was updated on February 22. After the last massacre of Hazara Shias of Quetta on February 16 in which over 100 members of the community were killed, the spotlight has shifted to the jihadi outfits based in Punjab; a phenomenon that has hitherto been ignored as the focus has predominantly remained on the terrorist safe havens in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
While the links between these outfits and the security establishment have been widely discussed, the new narrative focuses on the clout the jihadi organizations wield electorally, forcing many a political party to adopt a soft policy towards them.
As per one estimate, the PML (N) has an understanding with the jihadi organizations in 40 constituencies of Punjab.
Also, according to leaders of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat — a front of the LeJ and its affiliates — some leading lights of the Pakistan Peoples Party in Punjab have benefited from a similar tacit understanding thereby limiting the scope of tough action against jihadi organisations despite some of them claiming responsibility for several terrorist attacks.