My Story by Hafiz Saeed

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed

Last week, the US announced a $10 million bounty on Lashkar-e-Toiba founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who is accused of masterminding the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. Exactly a month ago, Saeed spoke to Roznama Ummat, an Urdu newspaper from Karachi, and his story, a first-person narrative, appeared as a four-part series. In the interview, Saeed talks in detail about his life and how the deep-rooted communal hatred generated by the bloodshed of Partition shaped his worldview. He also describes the journey of his family from a village in Haryana to Pakistan and how, years later, his teacher and the then Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz, influenced him to set up Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Though Saeed is silent about his terror adventures, especially the role of his Lashkar-e-Toiba, the anecdotes in this autobiographical account help understand the man who founded one of the world's most dreaded terror outfits. These are excerpts translated from his narrative:

Early life and Partition

When our caravan finally reached Pakistan, 36 members of my family had been killed, including children. From my father, mother and other elders of the family, I have heard stories of barbarism committed on us by Hindus and Sikhs, and how we were forced to abandon our ancestral home in Haryana.

I belonged to a Gujjar family. My father, Kamal-ud-Din, was a farmer. In the fall of 1947, our family started migrating from Haryana and reached Pakistan in around four months. My father told me that when they left Haryana, there were 800 people in the caravan and most of them belonged to our family. They began the journey by train but then they started hearing stories of how rioters were stopping trains and killing Muslim migrants on their way to Pakistan. Our family decided to travel by foot. Finally, they entered the borders of Pakistan in March 1948.

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