Islamabad: Pakistan`s opposition PML-N
leaders and hardline religious parties joined a rally organised by a front of the outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah during
which speakers called for jehad to resolve the Kashmir issue.
PML-N spokesman Siddique-ul-Farooq, Jamaat-e-Islami
chief Syed Munawar Hasan, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Maulana
Samiul Haq and representatives of All Parties Hurriyet
Conference joined the rally organised by the Tehrik
Azadi-e-Kashmir in Aabpara area near the Lal Masjid yesterday.
The Tehrik Azadi-e-Kashmir is an organisation launched
by the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, itself a front for the banned
The rally, described as a "National Kashmir
Conference", marked the culmination of a three-day
"Azadi-e-Kashmir Karvan" that started at Mirpur in
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and ended in Islamabad after passing
through Kotli, Bagh and Muzaffarabad.
This was the first time that a major pro-jehad rally
was held in the Pakistani capital in several months. As the
crowd shouted slogans in favour of jehad, senior JuD leader
Abdur Rehman Makki warned India to respect the rights of
"If they did not resolve the Kashmir issue peacefully,
we are left with no other option but to take the course of
jehad," Makki said.
Maulana Samiul Haq too called for jehad, saying it was
the only way to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Tehrik Azadi-e-Kashmir chairman Hafiz Saifullah
Mansoor, also a top leader of the JuD, drew the world`s
attention to the situation in Kashmir and said there has to be
a reason why the public has taken to the streets in Kashmir.
JuD leaders said the rally was organised to mobilise
the people and create awareness about so-called "atrocities"
being faced by the Kashmiris.
The speakers administered an oath to participants in
the rally asking them to "rise up in solidarity with the
people of Kashmir".
PML-N spokesman Farooq told the media his
participation in the rally was not aimed at strengthening the
concept of jehad for resolving the Kashmir issue.
"PML-N believes in peaceful struggle for the
resolution of the Kashmir issue and we were here to express
solidarity with the rightful struggle of Kashmiris," he said.
Jamaat-e-Islami chief Hasan criticised the government
and accused Pakistan`s leadership of speaking "in the tone of
the Indian government".
The gathering also adopted several resolutions,
including one that urged the Pakistan government to convene a
conference of all political parties to devise a national
policy that could help end "atrocities" in Jammu and Kashmir.