Islamabad: Outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed on Friday called on Pakistan's military to shoot down any American drones entering the country's territory.
Saeed has a USD 10 million US bounty on his head.
The anti-US rhetoric came as the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan visited Islamabad for the first time since last month’s killing of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a drone strike in western Pakistan. US and Pakistan relations have been strained by the strike, which Islamabad has protested against as a violation of its sovereignty.
While leading prayers at a mosque in Islamabad, Saeed, the mastermind of a 2008 attack on Mumbai, told the crowd: “The US stands with India in their enmity towards Pakistan.”
“We want to request the Army chief and make the Air Chief realise that it is their duty to shoot down any drone that comes into Pakistan and respond to it in kind.”
In response to the May 21 drone strike that killed Mansour, an Islamist charity Saeed heads, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), has announced a series of anti-US protests in major cities, with Saeed expected to be a featured speaker.
Pakistan’s top foreign policy official and its powerful military chief met Richard Olson, the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, during a visit.
A statement from the military said Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had expressed “serious concern” over the US drone strike. The US embassy in Islamabad said it had no statement on Olson’s visit.
(With Reuters inputs)