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'Jihadit' organizations like Difa-e-Pakistan now on the rise in Pak

Islamabad, Sat, 11 Feb 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Feb 11 (ANI): Jihadis urge for resurgence seem to be gaining momemtum in Pakistan, with reports saying that the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (Defence of Pakistan Council) movement has strengthened its hold across the country and their leaders seem unperturbed by serious accusations against them.


In December, Kashmiri hardliners, sectarianism-fanning extremists and Taliban-sympathisers were seen holding hands together on a stage in Lahore under a banner decorated with images of arms, ammunition and a call for 'Jihad'.


Since then, the Difa-e-Pakistan Council movement has gained momentum, and Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi, chief of banned religious group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which now operates under a changed name, Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jamaat (ASWJ), said: "Even if we were banned, we cannot just sit around and see this country go up in flames."


His group is not alone in urging Pakistanis to rise up. Under the auspices of Maulana Samiul Haq, chairman of Difa-e-Pakistan, over 40 different religious leaders, including those from ASWJ and Jamatud Dawa (JuD), held a meeting on October 12 last year in Lahore, The Express Tribune reports.


After this, the Difa-e-Pakistan issued a statement saying that the President House is a hostage to the Americans, and appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to force Parliament to abide by article 245 of the Constitution, which states that the country's military be called in to defend Pakistan.


Party leaders say their agenda is to free Pakistan from American and Indian aggression by putting pressure on the current government. The group also released a 10-point agenda. One of the points is a warning sent to all "anti-Islamic, secular, liberal hypocrites inside Pakistan." They also announced complete support for those fighting in 'Occupied Kashmir' as well as the Taliban in Afghanistan.


Difa-e-Pakistan may be a new name, but its roots lie in the movement started by its current chairman in the wake of attacks on Afghanistan by Western forces.


"At that time our brothers needed our support against the American crusade, so we took a stand for them," Maulana Samiul Haq, the 75-year-old former member of the National Assembly, said.


The group he made at the time was known as the Pak-Afghan Council (PAC) but later, this group joined politics by merging into an Islamic alliance known as Mutahidda Majlis-e-Amal, which formed the government in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa under the Musharraf regime. (ANI)


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