`Problem` with India is over Kashmir issue: Saeed

Last Updated: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 00:11

Islamabad: The Jamaat-ud-Dawah’s only
"problem" with India is the Kashmir issue and the group does
not condone terrorist attacks or suicide bombings in any part
of the world, its chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed said on Sunday.

"If we have a problem with India, it is only the problem
of Kashmir. We speak openly on Kashmir. The way India has
forcibly occupied (Kashmir), we don’t think it is right under
any circumstances, said Saeed, also the founder of the banned
Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Saeed said the JuD supports what he described as the
"freedom movement" in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The basic problem is Kashmir, then there is the problem
of water and dams, which is linked to Kashmir as our rivers
come from Kashmir," he claimed.

"India is making plans to destroy Pakistan and we speak
against that. We have no concern or links to whatever is
happening inside India," Saeed said in an interview with Geo
News channel.

Saeed, described by Indian officials as the alleged
mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was responding to
questions about the JuD being linked to terror attacks within
India.

Asked if the Kashmir issue should be resolved through
dialogue or war, Saeed said: "We are in favour of a dialogue
but India?s stand proves it is not interested in resolving the
matter under any circumstances."

He claimed his organisation?s involvement in the Kashmir
issue had made it a "flashpoint" that the whole world is
talking about.

Responding to a question on whether he condemned or
supported acts of terrorism in India, Saeed replied: "My view
on terrorism is that it is not allowed against Muslims or
non-Muslims in Pakistan, India, the US or anywhere. Allah’s
teachings and Islam do not allow bombings and killings of
people who are not your enemies."

He described charges of terrorism levelled against him
and the JuD as a "one-sided affair". He claimed: "Everything
has happened on the basis of Indian propaganda. We sent our
case to (UN Secretary General) Ban ki-Moon on two occasions
and asked him to listen to us. We told him he had decided
against us without hearing our side of the matter and this
goes against all laws of the world."

Saeed said the Pakistan government was not helping him
take up the case of the JuD with the UN or defending him in a
lawsuit filed in a US court by relatives of two Jewish victims
of the Mumbai attacks.

He said he had filed a petition in the Lahore High Court
asking it to direct the government to assist him.

Saeed claimed the Pakistan government had put him "under
house arrest due to the say-so of the Indian government" but
the Lahore High Court had freed him.

He also dismissed statements given by Ajmal Kasab, the
lone terrorist captured alive during the Mumbai attacks, and
LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi that linked him to the
assault on India`s financial hub.

Saeed also dismissed reports that the JuD was linked to
Al Qaeda and that the group`s members were present in
Afghanistan. He said the JuD has a monthly budget running into
crores of rupees and was only involved in relief work and
education.

Asked if his organisation was fighting against the US,
Saeed replied: "We have no fight with the US but we say the US
presence in and occupation of Afghanistan is wrong."

He also cast doubts on the 9/11 terror attacks, saying
there were a "mystery raised by the US".

Responding to a question about the popular impression
that the JuD has close ties with the military and is the
"B-team of the Pakistan Army", he said: "The army has its own
work and does it and we do our own work. To say we are the
B-team (of the army) is part of the same allegations
and propaganda."

"We love the army, which has served and defended
Pakistan...no one should call me a B-team, we are A-team
people," he added.

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 00:11

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