Friday, December 5, 2008

Will Pakistan arrest Lashkar chief?

With pressure mounting, could Pakistan finally take action against Lashkar chief Hafeez sayeed?

Sources have told NDTV in Pakistan that it is possible. This comes after America did some tough talking with the army and the civilian government to arrest the LeT founder.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is grappling for control with the all powerful army and ISI calling the shots. However, it is not the first time Zardari is battling intelligence agencies.

Just before slain former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan in 2007, she had openly said she feared there was a threat to her life from former ISI chief Hamid Gul and the intelligence bureau chief Brigadier Ijaz Shah.

Then there was the assassination attempt when she returned in October 2007, killing 140 people in a rally in Karachi. Benazir narrowly escaped and Zardari openly accused the ISI of trying to kill her. Benazir herself hinted at that the next day.

When she was killed a year ago, Zardari openly blamed the ISI. Now that he is the president, Zardari is facing his toughest challenge as he tries to assert authority over an organisation that has the backing of the one institution in Pakistan that matters, the army.

Meanwhile, Interior Advisor to the Prime Minister in Pakistan, Rehman Malik, has said the country would extend unconditional cooperation to India to bring the culprits to justice.

"A criminal is a criminal whether he is from Pakistan, India or anywhere else in the world. But we need concrete evidence against those mentioned by India and the law of the land will take its course," said Rehman.

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