In defiance: Difa-e-Pakistan converges on capital

Published: February 20, 2012

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Ahmed Ludhianvi to join Sarbarahi Ijlas today. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: 

The Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), an umbrella grouping of different religious and political parties, said on Sunday that its supporters would gather in Islamabad on February 20 (today) to protest against drone attacks and the restoration of air supplies for Nato.

Addressing a press conference at a local hotel, DPC leader Maulana Samiul Haq said they would challenge the decision of the interior ministry to ban the entry of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Ahl-e-Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ) leader Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi to the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

Despite the ban, Saeed and Ludhianvi reached Rawalpindi on Sunday to participate in the Sarbarahi Ijlas (meeting of the party heads).

Other party leaders including JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, General Ziaul Haq’s son Ejazul Haq and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Secretary General Liaquat Baloch also reached Rawalpindi to participate in the rally. The DPC are planning a serious protest against what they perceive as injustices on Pakistan soil. In fact, they have decided to approach the Supreme Court over the resumption of airspace supplies to Nato in Afghanistan, Haq told the media.

“We have decided to gather at Abpara in the federal capital on February 20 to raise our voices against the continuous drone attacks in Pakistan and the resumption of Nato supplies by the federal defence minister,” he said. The alliance of as many as 30 political and the religious parties demanded immediate removal of Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, the federal defence minister, for cooperating on this issue with Nato.

For the DPC leadership, the bans on some members had been imposed on the direction of the United States, as they intend to hold a public gathering in Balochistan on February 27. Condemning the recent resolution put up in the US Congress, the DPC members said that ‘the West’ had never passed any resolution on the freedom of Kashmir from Indian occupation.

The party leader also took up Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s case during his address and said that their “innocent sister” is being “shamefully treated”. He was accompanied by Ludhianvi, who said that the ban on three leaders in Islamabad will be challenged in the court.

A senior police officer in Rawalpindi, who asked not to be named, said that the Islamabad administration had imposed a ban on three leaders of DPC for seven days but despite the ban, the Rawalpindi police as well as the city’s administration have been unable to take any legal action against those breaching the bans.

He added that the Rawalpindi police and the administration are under control of the Punjab government, while the Islamabad Police and Islamabad administration are under the control of federal government.

Answering questions from the media, Haq confirmed that Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed had parted from the DPC.

Meanwhile, former Inter-Services Intelligence chief Hamid Gul issued an apology to The Express Media Group over his allegations that Malik Ishaq’s pictures on The Express Tribune‘s website were “doctored”. Gul said that he was mistaken as he was not aware of all the people who attended the rally.

(Read: The very excellent Difa-e-Pakistan Council)

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Patriotic
    Feb 20, 2012 - 5:40AM

    These mullahs and molvis are opportunists by feeding on the rising anti-Americanism in our country. The US does a lot of wrong and I admit that, but that does not make these mullahs better that it. They destroyed Pakistan when Zia brought the spotlight on them. Will you let them destroy Pakistan again? The choice is yours, but remember that our misplaced sense of “Islam” and “right and wrong” isn’t just wrong; it’s literally “anti-common sense” and inhumane! Say no to these people. Trust me, we don’t need anyone to make our decisions for us, whether religious or related to daily or other affairs of life. We have our own brains for that.

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  • Akhtar
    Feb 20, 2012 - 7:05AM

    Now the liberal extremists & Indians will come yelling! These people are scared of Shariah laws which will be implemented soon, inshallah! As a true Paki, I know the pulse of the common man. Ask him what he wants, the answer would be Sharia & establishment of khilafat!

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  • Feb 20, 2012 - 7:44AM

    @Akhtar: Lets not forget that it was during Khilafat, Karbala happened. It was during Khilafat during which Imam Hanbal was persecuted during MIHNA. It was during Khilafat during which Khalifa Usman RA, Khalifa Umer RA and Khalifa Ali RA were brutally martyred.

    And as far as Shariah Law is concerned, Pakistan was never able to get real land reforms because they used Shariah Law to justify the Status Quo landlords in Pakistan. And we havent forgotten how they made a mockery of our religion by using Islam to make it a rapist’s law. I am talking about Safia Bibi in 1983 when a blind 13-yr old girl was raped but sentenced to 80 lashes.

    Careful what you ask for. You may get it!

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  • Feb 20, 2012 - 7:54AM

    The irony is that these guys were supported to hurt INdia but are now hurting the hand that fed them.

    Brilliant strategy!

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  • Feb 20, 2012 - 8:56AM

    I may ask the patriotic (who even shows no courage to reveal his name on the media) that who are responsible for the destruction of this country? Are the same people who gathers under the Defence of Pakistan are ruling this country? I agree with the patriotic when he says that no one has to make decisions for us and we have our own brains for that, I hope he applies the same to the current regime and gets some sense rather than blaming Islam for it.

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  • SKChadha
    Feb 20, 2012 - 9:20AM

    The creation of this nation is based on religious fervor, altogether forgetting the social cohesiveness and peaceful coexistence which brings us more near to that almighty. Its creation is based on only on one factor i.e. Religion. The unity brought on this single factor will fizzle out as soon as this factor is taken out from the nationalism of Pakistan.

    There is no choice left, except to cultivate this Religious fervor or else disperse. The saner voices are few and far. Even they are dipped in sweet sugar of religion and are not visible at policy or decision making. The nation is slowly reaching to the point of no return. At a juncture where nobody dares to challenge the writ of Mullahs.

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  • mind control
    Feb 20, 2012 - 9:22AM

    @Akhtar

    Now the liberal extremists & Indians will come yelling! These people are scared of Shariah laws which will be implemented soon,

    Not so long ago your friends had established a ‘Sharai Nizam’ in Swat. I do not know how many ‘Indians’ were ‘scared’ of the ‘Shariah Laws’, but I know it was Pakistan Army that had to come to the rescue of the people of Swat.
    I hope, according to your definition, Swatis are not Indians.

    Khilafat Mubarak.

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Feb 20, 2012 - 9:41AM

    @Akhtar:
    The “liberal extremists” dont go out with guns and spew for every ones blood.

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  • baloch
    Feb 20, 2012 - 9:56AM

    And let’s also not forget how Raymond Davis and the US used shariah law to everyone’s noble advantage..

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  • ratee
    Feb 20, 2012 - 4:26PM

    Yes 100%b there fundamentalists are no heroes and they are not always right particularly about shariat law however once you open the land routes they will start killing your people again. So on opening NATO routes the Difa council has a valid point. Please give the devil some credit even though here we have a so-called

    Why is the Government so much afraid of USA and cannot wait for a clear cut apology for the killing of the troops or some agreement i do not understand what is the argument about the Difa- council being just villains and USA is the feeder of the nation.

    May I ask that Brute force is USA is feeding our country and we will die without it? Well that hand is actually killing our people and sooner or later you will have to depend on yourselves as they are going to cutoff the aid very soon.

    Self-interest should be the only motivation just like USA and NATO want to open the route as its the only beneficial to them right now.

    Can we have some self interest when deciding and not abruptly do it to please USA only?

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  • m usman
    Feb 20, 2012 - 4:32PM

    @mind control:the case of religious party of swat is totally different. they use weapons, they imposed their rules to the public and also they are scared thats why they hide themselves in mountain. they have their own courts(in-juistice). but he leader ship of DPC is totally different. hafiz saeed live in lahore nt in mountain. He obey the rule of Pakistani Courts and stand in high court for 9 time and ones in supreem court. they are serving the people.. and they ae nt un-educated like swat molvies.. they are ex-professor in UET Lahore..

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  • Um
    Feb 21, 2012 - 1:32AM

    Go America Go?? I don’t understand, are they a pro-american party?

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