Sharif urged to join rally by right-wing groups

Leaders of several extremist and hardline groups invited opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif to join their rally against the November 26 NATO raid.

Lahore: Leaders of several extremist and
hardline groups, including the JuD, met main opposition PML-N
chief Nawaz Sharif and invited him to join their rally to be
held on Sunday against the November 26 NATO raid and the
government`s plan to give the MFN status to India.

The representatives of the Defa-e-Pakistan Council
(Defence of Pakistan Council), a conglomerate of about 40
right-wing groups, met Sharif at his palatial residence in
Raiwind on Friday.

The delegation included senior JuD leaders Amir Hamza and
Abdul Rehman Makki and Jamaat-e-Islami`s Liaquat Baloch, Pir
Ijaz Hashmi and Abdur Rauf Farooqi.

According to a PML-N spokesman, Sharif supported the
rightwing groups` planned rally to protest a NATO air strike
that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and the government`s plan to
give the Most Favoured Nation-status to India but did not make
any commitment regarding his party`s participation in the
event entitled `Save Pakistan Conference`.

"Sharif praised the Council`s campaign against the NATO
attack but was reluctant to commit regarding his or the
party`s participation, saying a decision would be taken in
consultation with PML-N leaders," the spokesman said.

The delegation was led by former ISI chief Hamid Gul, the
creator of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, a rightwing alliance
that opposed slain former premier Benazir Bhutto`s government
in 1988.

A member of the delegation quoted Sharif as saying that
every party should play its role because Pakistan was in
troubled political waters.

Sharif was further quoted as having said that the NATO
attack on November 26 was the result of wrong policies and the
government should review its foreign policy.


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