In a sign of official patronage to Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led JuD, Pakistan government is running two special trains to transport people to Lahore for the terror group’s two-day congregation.
Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Saeed told reporters on Tuesday that thousands of people would participate in the congregation starting on December 4 at the ground of Minar-i-Pakistan monument.
Pakistan Railways is operating the first train from Tuesday from Hyderabad, Sindh province, that will arrive in Lahore on Wednesday night.
Another train will leave from Karachi and arrive here on December 4. The two special trains will also take the people back to their hometowns on the conclusion of the congregation.
The JuD leadership had spoken to railways minister Saad Rafique for his permission to run special trains for its congregation, official sources told PTI.
Pakistan railways spokesperson Rauf Tahir said there had been a “uniform policy” to run special trains on the request of political and religious parties.
“The Railways has a uniform policy for everyone. Pay and hire a train. Two special trains will be run for JuD congregation but not free of cost,” he said.
In a related development, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has also postponed its call to block Lahore on December 4 on the “request” of the JuD leadership.
“Yes, we have changed Lahore’s plan on the request of JuD. The JuD told us that thousands of people are coming to Lahore on December 4 and it cannot afford any hurdle in it,” a senior PTI leader said on condition of anonymity.
Tightening its noose around Lashkar-e-Taiba, the US in June added its affiliates, including the JuD, to its list of designated terror organisations.
India has maintained that Saeed is the mastermind behind Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, conspiracy for which was hatched, planned and executed out of Pakistan.