LAHORE: Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), the banned group said to be behind the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 2008, staged a rally here on Thursday demanding that the government withdraw its decision to grant India most-favoured nation (MFN) status as a trading partner.
Hundreds took part in the ‘Istehkam-i-Pakistan Karwan’ rally from Minar-i-Pakistan to Nasser Bagh. They included tractor trolley-riding and shovel-wielding farmers from the JD farmer’s wing, lawyers and Jamaat-i-Islami leaders.
Addressing the protestors, various speakers accused India of committing atrocities in Kashmir and said the government should not move to normalise ties until the Kashmir issue had been resolved.
JD leader Professor Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki said the government had granted India MFN status on America’s instructions. He accused President Asif Zardari of compromising with India over the deaths of hundreds of Muslims in Kashmir. He said Indian spies would enter Pakistan and continue the work of Raymond Davis. “India has taken hold of Pakistan’s five rivers and the Pakistani government has declared it a most-favoured nation,” he complained.
JD Hurmat-i-Rasool convener Maulana Ameer Hamza said JD would not allow India to transform Pakistan into a barren land. He said Pakistanis hated India and wanted revenge against it, so they would never accept it as a favoured trading partner.
Former Lahore Bar Association secretary Abdul Latif Sarra said the government should not grant India MFN status. He said Pakistani lawyers were with the JD against India and would not rest till Kashmir was free.
JUI-Sami leader Makhdoom Manzoor Ahmed, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat secretary general Maulana Muhammad Akram and Jamaat-i-Islami leader Amirul Azeem also addressed the protesters.
During the rally, traffic on Circular Road, GT Road, Ravi Road, the Lower Mall and Outfall Road was jammed. The protest ended at 5pm but the traffic woes continued for another two hours.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2011.