Lords of Terror

Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed

There were some reports that Aamir Khan's character in Fanaa was loosely built on Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed, who was a qualified engineer one day and a fanatic preacher and terrorist mastermind the next. On paper, he never engaged in any terror acts and heads the Markaz Dawa wa'al-Irshad, an organisation committed to proselytisation.

At ground zero, it is a known fact that the Markaz happens to be the patron the Lashkar-e- Taiba, an organization founded solely for conducting terror operations in India, particularly Kashmir. Sayeed's rise has been credited to the Zia-ul-Haq regime in Pakistan which gave him land at Muridke near Lahore. It reportedly raised cadre and funds for Haq's CIA-led campaign against the Soviets and socialists in Afghanistan. From 1991, the LeT was set up to give the ISI a direct role in anti-India terror operations.

Maulana Masood Azhar:

This Bahawalpur-based religious leader and mercenary would have been cooling his heels in some Indian prison but for India's knee-jerk reaction to the IC-814 hijack in 1999. Masood Azhar was one of three top militants India released in return for the hostages aboard the flight that was hijacked to Kandahar.

And true to nature, the released terrorist went back to his supporters in the then Pakistani administration and founded a new terror outfit called Jaish-e-Mohammad. This organanization that operates out of occupied Kashmir and parts of Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the 13/12/2001 strike on the Indian Parliament as well as the attack on the J&K assembly on 1/10/2001.