Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of banned militant outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Hafiz Saeed recently shot to headlines following his arrest and his subsequent proposal to rename his outfit, Jamaat-ud-Daawa.
While the motive pointed out at that time was varied and unconvincing, reports now suggest that the militant may be silently moving to register his group as a political party in the Muslim-majority nation.
According to a media report, the move is aimed at preventing militants of the outfit from joining other notorious terror organisations including Islamic State (ISIS).
A report, prepared by James M Dorsey of the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies and Azaz Syed, a prominent Pakistani journalist, claims that the idea behind converting the JuD into a political party has been in the news for some years in the country.
"JuD sources said its transition to a political party was in part designed to stop cadres from joining the Islamic State (IS). Nearly 500 JuD activists had left the group to join more militant organisations, including the IS. The defections often occurred after the Pakistani military launches operations against militants in areas such as South Waziristan," said the report.
The development comes few days after reports claimed that Saeed has renamed his group as 'Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir'. Saeed was on January 30 put under house arrest by the Pakistani authorities following pressure from the US.
Saeed is a major irritant in the already strained relationship between India and Pakistan. He is actively involved in spewing venom against New Delhi. He has claimed that the JuD was a humanitarian charity organisation. The JuD has been blacklisted by the US, which had described it as a foreign terrorist organisation.
In 2012, the US placed a USD 10 million (Rs 66 crore) bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Saeed, who is also the founder of the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba.