Jamaatu-d-Da’wah (hereinafter “JuD”) is quite adept at avoiding the attention of the government and at gaining public approval.
When Pakistan was forced to outlaw the Lashkar-e Tayyiba, the organization now known as JuD had a different name, which was to be listed in the list of banned organizations. Conveniently, just before the list was officially promulgated, JuD changed its name, thus escaping being banned. And so they – JuD, its supporters, and the Pakistani authorities – could say, “It’s not the banned organization. Look, it’s a different organization!” But the people aren’t stupid.
One of the challenges with banning the JuD was that such a move was not popular with the people. Various such organizations are popular among the people despite all the mischief they cause. No clearer example of this exists than the incident of the Red Mosque, when the Pakistani army raided and flushed out a mosque in the middle of Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) where a radical group had established its operational center along with a vast weapons cache. The people, rather than being relieved that another source of chaos was eliminated, turned against the Pakistani army and accused it of attacking Islam.
So, the people support these organizations, despite the destruction and damage that they do. To take action against these organizations would be to invite the wrath of the people, who could become a mob and cause all sorts of trouble for Pakistani authorities. As such, Pakistani authorities do not often take drastic action against Islamist organizations unless forced to do so – whether forced through external pressure or due to internal security threats.
Why the people support organizations like JuD – and, because of this and other reasons, why Pakistani authorities are not motivated to taken them down – will be discussed day after tomorrow.