Islamabad: JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed on Monday made a rare public appearance here to lead the funeral
prayers for Kashmiri leader Maulvi Showkat Ahmed Shah, killed
in Srinagar last week, and used the occasion to rubbish the
Indo-Pak cricket diplomacy while vowing for a "jihad" in J-K.
In a provocative speech, Saeed, the mastermind of the
2008 Mumbai terror attacks, claimed the movement in Kashmir
would serve as an example for "Muslims in Hyderabad and
Junagarh who want independence from the oppression of Hindus".
New Delhi has been pressing for action against Saeed
who continues to roam freely in Pakistan making anti-India
In Islamabad, this has been the second time since the
26/11 attacks that Saeed has made a public appearance.
"The stand taken by the Pakistan government for
friendship with India is not acceptable to the Pakistani
people under any circumstances," said Saeed, who led the
`ghayebana namaz-e-janaza` for moderate Kashmiri leader Maulvi
Showkat Shah, who was killed in an explosion in Srinagar on
Saeed, also the founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba,
said "friendship, trade and cricket diplomacy" with India has
"We make it clear that (the government) should back
the Hurriyat till the last breath for the independence of
Kashmir," he told a gathering of about 300 people outside the
National Press Club in the heart of the Pakistani capital.
Members of parliament and the government should adopt
a "strong position" on the Kashmir issue so that it becomes
clear to the people of Pakistan and Kashmir that they are
"doing the right thing", he said.
"We want to make it clear that we are with Kashmiris
and will remain with them... All the people in Pakistan and
Kashmir are unwilling to accept anything less than
independence (for Jammu and Kashmir)," he said in a brief
speech as the crowd repeatedly cheered.
He said rather than put efforts to foster friendship
and trade with India, the Pakistan government should work to
support the movement to achieve the "independence" of Jammu
Paying tribute to Shah, the president of the Jamiat-e-
Ahle Hadith who was killed in the bombing on April 8, Saeed
claimed the movement in Jammu and Kashmir was "a jihad for
independence where even death is part of life".
Dismissing the impression in certain quarters that the
movement in Kashmir had become weak in the post-9/11 era,
Saeed said he believed "it has come very close to its final
Saeed claimed that the Kashmiri leaders had kept alive
their movement even "when Pakistan was under great pressure"
and the government in Islamabad "always gave in to pressure".
Besides Saeed, the gathering was addressed by Abdul
Aziz Alvi, the head of the JuD in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,
United Jihad Council vice-chairman Muhammad Usman and
leaders of the Hurriyat Conference.
Both Saeed and Alvi were briefly detained in the wake
of the Mumbai attacks, which were blamed on the LeT.
Saeed had attended a gathering of political and
religious leaders in the capital last year to oppose changes
in the controversial blasphemy law.
He has led several rallies in Lahore during which he
criticised India and backed calls for "jihad" in Jammu and
Referring to the situation in war-torn Afghanistan, he
claimed this was a sign that India could not continue what he
described as the "occupation" of Jammu and Kashmir.
"I want to tell India this is not that era when
Muslims were silent (and) things have changed. Muslims have
become aware," he said.
"If Russia could not continue its occupation of
Afghanistan, if America is preparing to pull out and they are
admitting that they have failed in their mission in
Afghanistan and they cannot continue their occupation... then
India cannot continue its occupation of Kashmir," he claimed.