BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of proscribed Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), today said that he would accept nothing less than the withdrawal of Indian troops from Kashmir.
“We don’t believe in the cricket diplomacy or any other backdoor channel that the government adopts with India,” Saeed said in a fiery speech at the National Press Club, Islamabad, where scores of JuD activists had gathered to hold a memorial for slain Kashmiri leader Maulana Shaukat Shah.
Saeed asked parliamentarians to adopt a clear Kashmir policy and become the voice of millions of Pakistanis and Kashmiris in the freedom movement. “Mujahideen (freedom fighters) are determined to continue their struggle till the logical end of the Kashmir movement,” he said.
Saeed dispelled the impression that the Kashmir freedom movement has lost its momentum but admitted that since 9/11, it had slowed down to an extent. He said that the successive governments of Pakistan had bowed to pressure from India and the international community as far as the Kashmir issue is concerned. “But I want to make one thing clear. If Russian forces had to leave Afghanistan and now the Americans are looking for a safe exit, then Indian forces will have to leave soon,” he said.
He chose not to reply to a question regarding assistance from the armed forces to the Kashmir movement.
Saeed’s JuD is believed to be linked with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is allegedly involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks that killed as many as 163 people. The attack halted the composite dialogue between Pakistan and India, which has only recently resumed. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani also met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the sidelines of a recent World Cup semi-final match between the Pakistani and Indian cricket teams.
Since its establishment in 1985, the JuD has established several departments to systemise and regulate its activities. The organisation has a special emphasis on relief activities and actively participated in relief work after the devastating earthquake that hit northern Pakistan, including Azad Kashmir, on October 8, 2005.