November 1999 News

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Dawat to fight for Islamic Pakistan

5 November 1999
The News International, Pakistan
By Special Correspondent

MURIDKE: Al-Dawatwal Irshad on Thursday vowed to launch "Jihad" to turn Pakistan into a pure Islamic state.

"We reject democracy ... the notion of people's sovereignty is anti-Islamic," Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, one of the group's leaders, said while addressing a gathering at Markaz Al-Dawatwal Irshad. "Only Allah is sovereign," he declared.

Saeed said it was God who had ordered the establishment of the law of Islam everywhere in the world and it was binding on the Muslims to support the Islamic freedom fighters fighting for truth all over the world. "We support all such Islamic movements in the world," he said.

"If Muslims fight with Muslims who have the support of an infidel government, then the war against them is justified," he said. He termed India the number one enemy of the Muslims and said it was due to this reason that they had waged a war against it.

Saeed maintained Jihad was very important for maintaining world peace, and blasted the US for branding Mujahideen as terrorists. He also condemned the US for attacking Sudan and Afghanistan. "We believe the killing of any human being is the killing of humanity, but if the US tries to attack Sudan or any other Muslim country we will not hesitate to start Jihad against it," he said.

Later in a press statement, he said the solution to the entire problems of the Ummah lay in Jihad against all those anti-Islamic forces, which had resorted to tyranny against the Muslims. He particularly hit out at India where mosques were being razed and temples constructed in their place. "The houses of the Muslims are being set on fire but the United States, the so-called champion of Human Rights, is witnessing all this silently," he said.

Reacting to three blasts in Muridke, Saeed said the explosions were "a cowardly retaliation by RAW to avenge killings of its eight troops in occupied Srinagar". "The world should witness that while we targeted a military installation, the coward Indians have targeted civilians in response."

He said the three blasts were aimed at scaring the Mujahideen but the Indians did not know "such cowardly acts would not bring down the morale of the Mujahideen and their spirit of Jihad".

Agencies add: Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed boasted of a "successful" attack on an Indian army base in held Kashmir and denied US allegations that he led a terrorist organisation.

"This was a very successful strike," Saeed said of a suicide squad attack on an Indian army headquarters in held Srinagar, in which eight people were killed. "This incident is a very important action in every respect because it is for the first time that such action was taken against... where the Indian corps commander sits," he said.

The conference brought outrage from the New Delhi government, which says it is a terrorist gathering. Saeed said: "We want to ask the Americans that if they consider us terrorists, or if they are putting pressure on the Pakistani government against us, they have to prove that and see that, who started first. Was it Indian army which started atrocities against the Kashmiris or were we first?" Saeed urged the government of Pakistan to fulfill their duty of seeking the "freedom" of Kashmir. "Kashmir is part of Pakistan and India is keeping Kashmiris away from us by force. So we say to the military government that your first responsibility is the freedom of those Muslims."

The gathering also collected donations to buy bullets to use against Indian soldiers. Some of the speakers also condemned deposed Sharif for betraying the cause of Kashmir. "He (Nawaz) betrayed Kashmir and Kashmiri freedom fighters," said Qari Abdul Wahid Kashmiri.

An estimated 300,000 followers knelt simultaneously in prayer as loudspeakers blared verses from the Holy Qur'aan, throughout the tent at Muridke. Banners extolling the value of Jihad throughout the world and condemning the United States as an enemy of Islam graced the gathering. Among the devotees at the conference, which began Wednesday, were men from Sudan, Afghanistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Lashkar-e-Taiba, under consideration by the United States to be declared a terrorist organisation, openly seeks recruits to fight India in held Kashmir. At Thursday's gathering, people were asked to contribute Rs 10 toward the war against India, saying the donation would cover the cost of one bullet. On a stark wooden table, Lashkar-e-Taiba displayed the hats, boots and uniforms of Indian soldiers they said they killed in held Kashmir.


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