Hafiz Mohammad Saeed is very much in the news these days, especially after USA declared a $10 million bounty on his head. Indian TV channels are debating his involvement in terrorist activities including in the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai in 2008. Both he and Pakistan Govt. have denied these allegations.
Who is this founder of the Jammat-ud-Dawa organization in Pakistan? Based on newspaper reports following is a brief life skech of Hafiz Saeed:
It would surprise a lot of people to know that he hails from an Indian family of Haryana, who migrated to Pakistan after the country’s Partition in 1947. Hewas born in 1948 in Faisalabad. The family was reduced to poverty, as they had lost their lands in Haryana and it was after some time, that they were granted 15 acres of agriculture land by the Pakistan Govt. He is the eldest amongst three brothers and two sisters. His mother had him memorise the Koran by the time he was nine years old. In 1965, when India and Pakistan were fighting a war, Hafiz was studying in class IX at a school in Sarghoda near to the air base. There were rumours that Indian paratroopers would land at the base,and, to face them he organized a group of 30-40 boys who would guard the village.
Hafiz has graduated in psychology and philosophy from the SE College,Bhawalpur.He then joined the Lahore University and completed his Masters in Arabic and Islamic studies.He was appointed as a lecturer in University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore and served them for the next twenty five years.
During his days in the University at Lahore, the new country of Bangladesh was created from the erstwhile East Pakistan. Hafiz played a prominent
In 1981 he received a two year scholarship for further studies at the King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. There he came in contact with a teacher named Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz whose teachings left a great impression on him. He also got the idea of setting up the Jamaat-ud-Dawa from the Sheikh. After his return he joined his Engineering University again. In 1985 he laid the foundation for Jamaat-ud-Dawa and one of its main activities was to propagate Islam religion. The Jamaat today has 142 dispenseries, six big hospitals, 97 ambulances and is running 170 schools across Pakistan
In 2002 he married for the second time a martyr’s widow, although his first wife initially opposed but agreed later on. He has three children from first wife and two from the second wife.
Although he denies having to do anything with Lashkar-e-Toiba, he supports the fight for freedom of Kashmir. He feels India cannot stay in Kashmir for long.
It seems that the communal hatred generated by the bloodshed of the Partition and faced by him and his family shaped his future ideas. How ironical that a refugee from Pakistan is leading India and talks peace with Pakistan and a refugee from India now settled in Pakistan talks hatred towards India.Is Hafiz a victim of Partition violence thru LeT or a benefactor thru JuD is for the reader to decide.