Jamrud (Pakistan): Hundreds of Pakistani
tribesmen on Tuesday threatened the United States with holy war
should it take action against Haqqani extremists in North
Waziristan on the Afghan border.
In a protest organised by Pakistan`s largest Islamic
party, Jamaat-e-Islami, local tribesmen party activists, some
armed with Kalashnikovs, gathered in the town of Jamrud in the
Khyber tribal district along the Afghan border.
The protestors then set off in convoy to Landikotal, a
town on the border, where party leaders were to deliver final
The crowd of hundreds chanted slogans such as "Death to
America", Allah Akhbar (God is great) and al-Jihad (holy war).
There is growing unease in Pakistan about US pressure to
take action against the Haqqani militant network or the face
The group was founded by former CIA asset turned al-Qaeda
ally Jalaluddin Haqqani and its leaders are based in North
In a series of escalating rows, Washington accused the
Haqqanis, with involvement of Pakistan`s Inter-Services
Intelligence agency, over September attacks on its embassy in
Kabul and a NATO base in central Afghanistan.
Pakistan has said it will not bow to mounting US demands
for action and denies any support for the network`s attacks.
Although nothing suggests the United States is
considering a ground incursion, Pakistanis fear action from
American ground troops.
"America has already failed in Afghanistan. Do they need
another graveyard in the Pakistani tribal areas?" Qazi Hussain
Ahmed, a prominent JI leader, told the gathering, calling on
the government to end its US alliance.
"The Pakistani tribal areas would prove a bigger
graveyard of Americans if they ever attack these areas," he
The alliance between Pakistan and the United States in
the 10-year war in Afghanistan and against Al-Qaeda hit rock
bottom this year in the wake of the unilateral American raid
that killed Osama bin Laden near Islamabad on May 2.
Pakistan has around 140,000 troops based along its
northwest that borders Afghanistan and says more than 3,000
soldiers have been killed since 2001 -- more than the 2,735
Western soldiers who have died in Afghanistan.