JuD arranges events to honour Osama bin Laden

The Jamaat-ud-Dawah has taken the lead in arranging events to honour Osama.

Updated: May 04, 2011, 21:57 PM IST

Islamabad: The Jamaat-ud-Dawah, blamed for
the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, has taken the lead in
arranging events to honour Osama bin Laden, organising funeral
prayers for the al-Qaida chief in the Pakistani cities of
Lahore and Karachi.

JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, described by Indian
officials as the mastermind of the assault on Mumbai, himself
led activists in offering funeral prayers in absentia for bin
Laden at the group`s headquarters in Lahore on Monday.

Hundreds of JuD activists and youths joined funeral
prayers for bin Laden near the Motamar Al Alam Al Islami
office on University Road in Karachi yesterday.

A similar event planned at the JuD`s Masjid Quba in
Sector I-8/4 in Islamabad yesterday was cancelled at the last
minute, apparently due to the attention it had attracted.

Apart from few small protests in cities like Quetta,
the funeral prayers arranged by the JuD were the largest
events in Pakistan marking the death of the world’s most
wanted man.

The `ghayabana namaz-e-janaza` in Lahore was arranged
hours after news broke that bin Laden had been killed by US
special forces during a raid near the Pakistan Military
Academy in Abbottabad.

A large number of JuD workers gathered at Markaz
Al-Qadsia for the prayers, during which Saeed, also the
founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, said Muslims should
gain strength from the death of bin Laden as his "martyrdom"
would not be in vain.

Bin Laden made sacrifices for Muslims around the
world and he would be remembered for long, Saeed said.

He said it was regrettable that Pakistan`s rulers
expressed "pleasure" at the death of bin Laden to please their
"masters" in America.

Pakistan`s rulers "should not invite the wrath of
God" as bin Laden acted as a "spokesman of the people of
Pakistan" and the whole nation was saddened by his death,
Saeed claimed.
A JuD spokesman said yesterday`s event in Islamabad
was cancelled as the imam who was to lead the prayers was
However, official sources said the JuD may have
changed its plans due to the attention such an event would
have attracted, especially at a time when the world media’s
attention is focussed on Pakistan.

During yesterday`s event in Karachi, participants,
including madrassa students, pledged they would take part in
`jihad` or holy war in Kashmir.

They hailed bin Laden as a hero and vowed to avenge
his death.

"He was our leader, our guide, our hero," Tayyab
Iqbal, who joined the prayers though he was not a JuD member,
told The Express Tribune daily.
Mohammad Naeem, 13, who had a JuD flag wrapped
around his shoulders, said: "Osama bin Laden was a great
commander of Islam who fought many wars against the US and his
biggest feat was 9/11."

Speakers at the event, including JuD leader Naveed
Qamar, said the funeral prayers demonstrated that bin Laden
had scores of supporters.

Saeed, who claims he has no links to the LeT, was
briefly detained in the wake of the Mumbai attacks but never
formally charged by Pakistani authorities.

US officials have said that the LeT, one of the
largest and best-funded militant groups in Pakistan, has
global aspirations.

The UN Security Council has listed the JuD as a front
for the LeT.