Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) officially condemned the US bounty on LeT founder Hafiz Saeed on Tuesday, terming it “another attack by the US government on Muslims and Islam”.
JuD spokesperson Yahya Mujahid said the United States had offered a $10 million bounty for the chief of Jamaatud Dawa, a charity wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), due to the Difa-e-Pakistan Council’s (DPC) strong resolve against the reopening of Nato supply routes through Pakistan, drone strikes in the country’s tribal badlands and trade with India.
Defending Hafiz Saeed and Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, described as LeT’s second-in-command, Mujahid said the whole world was aware of their whereabouts since they were are not living in the forests, hills or caves.
“Hafiz Saeed and Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki are the most popular religious leaders of the motherland of Pakistan and their relief and religious activities are not hidden from anyone,” the JuD spokesperson said.
Mujahid went on to claim that the move by the US was politically motivated and it was evident who the US government was trying to gratify.
“Yes, the Americans wanted to please India and they did it.”
He went on to add that the DPC was fully aware of the conspiracies being hatched by the US, India and their allies against Pakistan’s sovereignty, adding that the move by the US to announce a bounty for Saeed indicated “the negative tactics being adopted by them in frustration of their ulterior motives and plans being foiled by the DPC”.
Mujahid vowed that the JuD and the DPC would defend Pakistan and play a pivotal role in the fight against foreign elements meddling in the country’s affairs, adding that even though Saeed hadn’t been distressed by the US’ negative tactics, their actions would further stoke anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.
Religious parties extend support to Saeed
Condemning the US bounty on Saeed, leaders of different religious parties in Pakistan said the JuD chief is a hero of Pakistan and allegations against him were in fact allegations against the Muslim Ummah and the country.
The leaders of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam- Samiul Haq (JUI-S), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Dawat Ahl-e-Hadees, Majlis Ahrar-e-Islam, International Khatam-e-Nabuwat and Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadees criticised the US move.
JUI-F senior leader Khursheed Abbas Gardezi said that this step by the US will only generate hatred amongst millions of Muslims all over the world. He said, “an attack on Saeed is an attack on Islam and Muslims countries will retaliate in this case soon.”
Bashing India for the US announcement, JI senior leader Ashraf Ali said that India was waiting for this moment. “We would like to tell India and the US that Saeed and Makki are not hidden anywhere and have been serving Muslims openly. The JuD welfare activities can be witnessed by everyone and both the leaders will continue to serve the people of Pakistan and Muslim ummah,” he said.
A JUI-S senior leader added that Saeed was not a criminal and had never been a part of any terrorist activity. “The US is only serving Indian interests and if it dares to arrest Saeed, it will have to present proofs” he stated.
Calling Saeed the most favourite religious and social leader of Pakistan, International Khatam-e-Nabuwat leader Ismaeel Shujabaad said he is equally respected across the Muslim world.
Senior leader of Majlis Ahrar-e-Islam Kafeel Bukhari said that despite opposition and allegations, Saeed will not stop opposing drone attacks and Nato supply via Pakistan.
An Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadees leader said that the LeT founder, along with JuD, has been struggling for the sovereignty, respect and integrity of Pakistan. “We will support him till our death,” he said.
Praising Saeed for leading a movement against India’s cruelty, ASWJ leaders offered to provide protection to him. “We will not let India become Pakistan’s most favoured nation in any case,” he added.