LAHORE: Following up to Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed’s press conference on the $10 million United States (US) bounty on his head, the Difa-e-Pakistan Council on Thursday asked President Asif Ali Zardari to cancel his trip to India. The council said that India was not sending its hockey team to Pakistan and the president was going there.
Zardari plans to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over lunch on April 8 before making a private visit to the famous 13th century Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer.
Representatives of all 14 parties of the DPC were addressing a press conference in Lahore, where they announced all rallies and programs will carry on as planned and there would be no change. The council has announced a day of protest for tomorrow (Friday).
The representatives said that all parties were together and nobody was going to back down. “America should not think about it.”
The DPC leaders said that the United States had announced the bounty as a pressure tactic to get NATO supply routes reopened. They announced that moving international courts is under consideration, but the council will first move local courts that this act is interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs.
They said that America’s decision was an act of disrespecting the local courts and called on the government not come under any international pressure.
“Hafiz Saeed and Abdul Rehman Makki are citizens of Pakistan, their protection is the government’s responsibility.”
Lashing out at the US, DPC leaders said that the country was pleasing Israel and India by conducting drone attacks and Abbottabad-style raids in Pakistan.
They called on the US to bring proof regarding their allegations against Hafiz Saeed and added that he was willing to come to any local court.
The media talk was headed by Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool leader Maulana Ameer Hamza. Others present included Pakistan Ulema Council chairman Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Mian Abdul Qadeer, JUI – Samiullah leader Asif Makhdoom, Dr Farid Parachi of the Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI – F leader Chaudhry Muhammad Abu Bakr and members of the Tanzeem-e-Islami.
The US recently announced a reward worth $10 million for the capture or any information leading to the capture of Saeed, making him one of the most wanted persons in the world.