Jamaat Ud-Dawah (JuD) chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed on Friday led a march in Islamabad and his outfit across several cities, ranting on the Kashmir issue, showing defiance in the face of India asking Pakistan to “rein in” the terror group.
A day after Saeed warned of more Pathankot-style attacks, the Jamaat Ud-Dawah men took out rallies in cities like Lahore, Faisalabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Muzaffarabad to mark ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’.
The JuD chief led the rally in Islamabad while his relative Hafiz Abdur Rehman Maki addressed a big gathering in Lahore.
The ruling PML-N, Jamaat-i-Islami and other political and religious parties also held rallies to express solidarity with Kashmiris.
The JuD also held several camps in Lahore which showed videos about “atrocities” in Kashmir on big screens.
Addressing a ‘Solidarity Kashmir Conference’ in Mirpur on Thursday, Saeed said “Pakistan should be thankful” to Kashmiri militant leader Syed Salahuddin, who heads the United Jihad Council that had claimed responsibility for the Pathankot terror attack.
“Syed Salahuddin is a great well-wisher of Pakistan. He has taken Pakistan out of trouble by accepting the responsibility of Pathankot airbase attack. Pakistan should be thankful to him,” said the founder leader of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Saeed warned India that if “war” in Kashmir further prolonged it would have to pay a heavy price for it.
India on Thursday had asked Pakistan to “rein in” the JuD chief, voicing grave concern over his activities after the Mumbai terror attack mastermind warned of more Pathankot-style attacks.
The JuD chief said, “On the occasion of Kashmir Day, I want more intensity in the freedom struggle. Every child in Pakistan is ready to sacrifice his life for Kashmir’s freedom.”
“Our Constitution also demands us to support Kashmiris in their freedom struggle,” he added.
Saeed asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to sever relations with India and said that there should be no relations with it “till Kashmir is freed”.
The UN declared JuD a terror organisation and also individually designated Saeed as a terrorist in December 2008. The US has already put a USD 10 million bounty on his head.
Saeed, who orchestrated the November, 2008, Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people were killed, roams around freely in Pakistan despite being a designated terrorist and has made many anti-India remarks and speeches.
Saeed said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should not “sacrifice” Kashmir for the sake of trade with India.
“The rulers have no right to put the Kashmir issue on back-burner and hold talks with India on other issues like trade,” he said.
“I give guarantee that Kashmir will be freed the day the prime minister, army chief, all political parties and Kashmiri organisations are on same page on the issue,” he said.
Earlier, addressing a rally, Saeed had said, “800,000 Indian troops are committing genocide on Kashmiris. Don’t they have a right to carry out Pathankot-style attacks for their defence?…You have only seen one attack on Pathankot. Matters could easily escalate.”
Every year February 5 is observed as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to pledge support for the people of Kashmir.