A major jihadi leader released

And he was held in connection with the attempt on Musharraf’s life

With suicide-bombers failing more than once to get Musharraf and his chosen prime-ministerial candidate Shaukat Aziz, it would be reasonable to expect that the Pakistani authorities would be extra careful in handling the jihadi groups held responsible for these attacks. Not so, it seems.

Pakistani authorities just released Abdul Jabbar, a leader of Khuddam-ul-Furqan, who was held in connection with the failed attacks on Musharraf’s life in December 2003. The manner in which Abdul Jabbar was handled closely resembles the way in which his former boss, Masood Azhar, was first arrested and then released by the Pakistani authorities.

The timing of his release is as brilliant as it is indicative of Musharraf’s intentions. As he receives warm doses of thanks from America and Britain for helping expose latent al Qaeda terror cells in the West, he has quietly delivered some goodies to his jihadi supporters. Effectively, Musharraf has been able to satisfy the demands of his American interlocutors without in any way weakening the Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan. That’s bad news for people in the subcontinent.

Related Link:

Gareth Price of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, is that he cannot implement his vision for Pakistan in the short term. “On one hand he needs to maintain US support economically, but politically he needs to maintain the support of the Islamic parties.” [The Guardian]