Islamabad: Extremist leaders, including JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, have stepped up calls for jihad against India, even advocating the use of nuclear weapons if needed in the “war for Kashmir.”
The vicious comments at a massive rally organized by Jamaat-ud-Dawah to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day, have come at a time when India and Pakistan are trying to find ways to revive the peace process.
At the rally, speaker after speaker espoused the use of jihad or holy war to settle the Kashmir issue, and Saeed said this approach should be adopted even if it leads to a “nuclear war” with India.
Saeed blamed by India for masterminding the Mumbai attacks, and said: “I want to give a message to (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh — quit Kashmir or get ready to face a war.”
He was addressing a rally of about 20,000 supporters on the Mall, one of the main thoroughfares of Lahore. “You (Singh) must remember that the movement of the Kashmiri people is nearing an end and I am telling you very clearly too immediately leave Kashmir.
“Otherwise we are ready to start a war against you to get this at any cost,” Saeed told the rally held to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day. “The only solution to the Kashmir issue is jihad,” said Saeed.
The jihad should continue “as long as Kashmir remains under Indian occupation” and there would be “no problem” if the fighting leads to nuclear war between Pakistan and India, he contended.
JuD deputy chief Abdur Rehman Makki demanded that Pakistan’s Prime Minister should set up an independent ministry for the jihad in Kashmir. “The JuD will provide the budget for this ministry if (the Prime Minister) accepts our proposal,” he said.
Offering to provide one million trained fighters to wage the jihad, Makki called on the Pakistan Army chief to provide Kalashnikovs for these fighters.