Hafiz Saeed: ‘Hafiz Saeed could become PM as jihadis deepen their hold’


NEW DELHI: A deepening hold of jihadi forces in Pakistan could even result in a terror mastermind like Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed being “elected” prime minister, a report published recently by Oxford University and India-based think tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) has said.

The report painted a grim terror threat scenario in South Asia post-2020, predicting that the ascendancy of terrorists and extremists could see coordinated attacks targeting India’s political and financial systems, all with the “open support of Pakistani military”.

The report titled ‘Humanity at Risk — Global Terror Threat Indicant’ went on to warn that Pakistan-sponsored terror strikes foreseen in India would trigger a full-scale war between two neighbours. “The game of brinksmanship between the two countries (India and Pakistan) is played too often. It goes off balance one day. While the diners in Delegates Dining Room on fourth floor on First Avenue are obsessed with the Middle East imbroglio and concerned about Israel’s existence, the UN Security Council is caught unawares by the crisis in South Asia. Before it can convene an emergency session, India and Pakistan are pushed into a full-scale war. Once the war breaks out, it is certain to turn nuclear,” it said.

The report predicted that al-Qaida would gain a foothold by co-opting other separatist and ethnic movements in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand. “The US summarily exits Afghanistan and Iraq under the leadership of a right-wing president inaugurated in January 2029, throwing those countries into major chaos. China’s involvement in Afghanistan, specifically the attempt to play interlocutor with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, backfires. Incensed Pakistani and Afghan terror groups incite violence within China, thereby emboldening Uighur militants to launch a major attack in Beijing or Shanghai,” the report said.

While predicting that eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, “the relatively lawless border areas between the two countries”, would become a “single breakaway Taliban state”, the thinktank said extremist and religious political parties in Pakistan would increasingly become popular. “LeT is able to build its party infrastructure and contest the federal elections successfully, in alliance with other extremist groups and active unofficial support from the military. Pakistan then elects LeT founder Hafiz Saeed as the head of government,” it said.


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