The Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) cautioned lawmakers on Monday against endorsing any move to reopen Nato routes that have been shut since the November 26 Nato raid in Mohmand Agency that had killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
The leadership of the council met in Peshawar against the backdrop of the upcoming joint session of Parliament which is due to discuss new terms of engagement with the United States. The council went as far as to threaten lawmakers, saying they would call their supporters to besiege the homes of parliamentarians if they voted for the lifting of the Nato blockade.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, DPC Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq said that due to sensitivity of the issue, a referendum, instead of Parliament’s joint session, would be ideal to resolve the matter and also hinted at the possibility of approaching the General Headquarters (GHQ) to discuss security issues.
He went on to add that the emergency meeting was called to address the likely reopening of Nato routes after the Parliamentary Committee on National Security’s (PNCA) recommendations are heard during the joint session of Parliament.
“We warn the Parliament to avoid taking any decision against national interest,” he said, adding that the council had decided to meet parliamentary leaders of various political parties to convince them against lifting the almost four-month-long blockade.
“DPC rejects any decision to open Nato supply routes in advance and wants to convey to the government that we will not allow her to take any decision inimical to our national interests and in favour of America,” Haq said.
The chairman criticised President Asif Ali Zardari’s address to parliament on Saturday, saying the president had failed to utter a word about the Kashmir issue. Haq went on to add that the DPC would continue to support the Kashmiri struggle and that a DPC conference would be held in Muzaffarabad soon.
Haq said Pakistan’s religious and political parties stood with the Baloch people and that Baloch separatists were being patronised by foreign countries. He also announced public gatherings in Peshawar and Quetta on April 15 and April 26, respectively. The meeting was also attended by General (retd) Hamid Gul, Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat president Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2012.
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