LAHORE: Chief of banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Malik Ishaq was in attendance at the Difa-e-Pakistan Council rally in Multan, a spokesperson for the council’s member organisation Jamaatud Dawa has said.
“General (retd) Hamid Gul was wrong in denying Ishaq’s presence at the rally. He was present on stage,” said Yahya Mujahid, a spokesperson for Islamic chairty, which is blacklisted by the United Nations for its alleged ties to LeJ but not by the Pakistan government.
Gul, in an interview with Express News television channel, had categorically denied that Ishaq was present at the rally.
“It was DPC’s unanimous decision that Ishaq will not address the rally,” Mujahid told The Express Tribune on Friday. “It’s a simple rule that whoever addresses the people from stage at a DPC rally cannot be a member of a banned militant outfit.”
Mujahid was attending an emergency protest, called by the JuD outside their main mosque Jamia Qudsia in Lahore under the DPC’s banner, against resumption of Nato supply routes and trade talks with India. The council has also called a meeting of heads of member parties on February 19 in Islamabad.
Apology to media
He also apologised for statements made against the media at the council’s Karachi rally. “The statements should be condemned in the strongest terms. I, as a representative of JuD, have written letters of apology to media organisations.”
The spokesperson said that the DPC is an organised platform. “Funding [for the organisation] is provided by member parties while host parties for different rallies fund events in their own cities,” he explained. For instance, he said, JuD hosted the Lahore rally, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat organised the one in Multan, Sheikh Rasheed hosted the Rawalpindi event and Jamat-e-Islami hosted the Karachi rally.
“The nationwide networks of all member parties provide support in organisational procedures.”
In defence of Hafiz Saeed
Amir Hamza, a senior leader of the JuD, said that the reason the US is against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed is because he speaks out about human rights violations by US allied forces in the region.
He also blamed former president Pervez Musharraf for joining hands with the US in the ‘war on terror’ and the Balochistan crisis.
CORRECTION: Former president Pervez Musharraf’s name was erroneously written as Pervez Sharif. The error is regretted.