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Our Correspondent
Saturday, November 09, 2013
From Print Edition
 
 

 

LAHORE

 

THE ongoing protests against the continuing US drone attacks gained further momentum on Friday when the Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC) observed a countrywide protest day, as thousands of people held rallies, demonstrations and conferences demanding the government to show guts to stand against the Washington’s blatant violations of human rights and country’s sovereignty.

 

On the appeal of the DPC, a platform of over 30 religious and political parties, the prayer leaders highlighted the cause in Friday sermons while gatherings were also held outside the mosques after Friday prayers where people voiced their anger against the government for chickening out before the Washington. Demonstrators chanted slogans against America, India and Nato forces condemning them for killing innocent Pakistani women and children in drone attacks in the name of collateral damage. They also condemned Islamabad rulers for being silent spectators and abettors in the US war crimes against Pakistani civilians.

 

Seminars and meetings were also held where condemnation resolutions were passed against the US, and the people were informed about the conspiracies of anti-Islam forces and their cruelties.

 

In Lahore, the largest demonstration was held outside the Lahore Press Club participated by hundreds of workers belonging to component parties, students, lawyers, businessmen, civil society members and people from other walks of life. Participants were holding placards and banners with the inscriptions carrying slogans against drones attacks, US, Nato and other anti-Islam forces. Jamat-ud-Dawa (JD) Ameer Hafiz Muhammed Saeed led the demonstration while other speakers included Jamiat Ahle Hadith Ameer Hafiz Abdul Ghaffar Ropri, JD leaders Qari Muhammed Yaqoob Sheikh, Pir Saifullah Khalid, Molana Muhammed Yousaf Ahrar, Sheikh Naeem Badshah, Hafiz Talha Saeed, Molana Abuzar, Engineer Muhammed Haris, Habiburehman, Sagheer Asad, Sana ullah Farooqi and others. Hafiz Saeed said the US drone attacks aimed at creating more suicide bombers as a reaction since the US officials and media had been accusing Islamabad of equal partner in drone attacks. He lamented that Islamabad rulers never proved the US accusations as false except for making mere verbal statements which made their case doubtful. He said both Americans and Indians were happy with the drone and suicide attacks because the victims were always together for peace partnership, leading a civil society movement from one end in Pakistan to other end of India, he asserted. This campaign has taken onboard all mainstream stakeholders of both countries. The governments, all mainstream political parties, military, youth, poets are part of this initiative, he said.

 

Pakistanis. He said the US started drone attacks after realising her defeat in Afghanistan, and in its efforts to avenge the defeat from Pakistan, which was the reason it made Pak territory a permanent war zone. He said the US, Indian and Israeli secret agencies were involved in this conspiracy.

 

He praised PTI chief Imran Khan’s declaration to stop the Nato supply at all costs, but said Nato supply line should be cut off at Chaman alongside the Torkham border. He said the drone attacks had crossed all limits and threshold of patience, and the whole nation would stand by PM Nawaz Sharif if he took a courageous decision to stop them.

 

He vowed to prolong the movement against drone attacks from DPC platform and urged the leaders of political, religious and social parties to lead the nation against the conspiracies of anti-Islam forces. He said the real face of the US was exposed during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to America when Obama spoke to him in the language used by Indian government as if he was speaking on behalf of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

 

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had seen Pak army exercises and the demonstration of shooting down drone, adding that now he should order shooting down of the US drones. He warned that without stopping the drone attacks, lasting peace would never be restored in Pakistan. He said central and provincial governments should hold the same opinion on this serious issue. He said Americans wanted to put a ban on Jamat-ud-Dawa because the party had been voicing against the US and Indian conspiracies against Pakistan.

 

Hafiz Abdulghafar Ropri said America wanted to pre-empt all the peace talks between the government and Taliban so that her ambition of weakening Pakistan by inciting a civil war against Pak Army could succeed. He alleged that America was overseeing the protection of Indian interests in the region and warned it would be a national negligence if drones were not shot down.

 

Secretary General Tehreek Hurmat-e-Rasool Qari Muhammed Yaqoob Sheikh said America was creating more TTP factions and suicide bombers by showering drone attacks in tribal areas. He alleged that the US, Indian and Israeli secret agencies wanted to establish a wide network of subversion, sabotage and suicide attacks in reaction to the drone attacks.

 

Leaders of other DPC component parties Pir Saifullah Khalid, Molana Muhammed Yousaf Ahrar, Sheikh Naeem Badshah, Hafiz Talha Saeed, Molana Abuzar, engineer Muhammed Haris, Habiburehman, Sagheer Asad Sanaullah Farooqi and others said that the US wanted to take revenge of her defeat in Afghanistan from Pakistan by forcing the Pakhtun tribes to create more suicide attacks in reaction to the drone attacks.