Army won’t act against Haqqani network, says Samiul Haq

ISLAMABAD: Defence of Pakistan Council chief Maulana Samiul Haq addresses a press conference on Wednesday.—White Star

ISLAMABAD: Defence of Pakistan Council chief Maulana Samiul Haq addresses a press conference on Wednesday.—White Star

ISLAMABAD: Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC) chief Maulana Samiul Haq said on Wednesday that the Pakistan Army would not take any action against the Haqqani network.

Addressing a press conference at the National Press Club, where he lambasted US President Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Pakistan, he said that those he was affiliated with “were still fighting the Americans in Afghanistan”.

In the most dire warning ever issued by a US president to Pakistan, Mr Trump accused Pakistan of “shelter[ing] the same organisations that try every single day to kill our people”, despite being paid billions and billions of dollars.

Maulana Samiul Haq, who is the chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI-S), also issued a call for ‘jihad’ to every section of society.

Blames external actors for terrorism in Pakistan; regrets govt’s ‘failed foreign policy’

When asked about terrorist attacks being carried out in Pakistan by local actors affiliated with religious groups, the Maulana claimed that no Pakistani was involved in killing innocent people.

“We should hang Kulbushan [Jadhav] and other spies at once,” he said, adding: “The West has been defaming jihad, [equating it] with terrorism, but we need to raise a call to jihad and ask each prayer leader in every mosque to preach the importance of jihad, so that our youth is prepared all the time.”

He said: “We are fighting the Americans in Afghanistan and those who cannot fight are waging jihad with their words and pens; the whole nation needs to rise up to defeat the West.”

At his press conference, the DPC leader took aim at the recent US policy statement on Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

He alleged that the US was defaming Pakistan for the ills of the Afghan government which, he said, had connived with the CIA and Indian intelligence, killing civilians and security personnel in Pakistan.

He praised China for its prompt reaction to the US president’s speech and said that the leaders of Pakistan should learn how to stand against US designs from North Korea and Iran.

However, he and other speakers also blamed the government of Pakistan for pursuing a “failed foreign policy’” and demanded that parliament register their protest on the matter.

Flanked by the leaders of other DPC component parties, including Jamaatud Dawa, veteran jihadi leader Fazalur Rehman Khalil and PML-Zia MNA Ijazul Haq, the Maulana said he did not agree with the recent briefing by the ISPR.

“It is not possible that Pakistan will conduct any operation against the Haqqanis,” he declared, blaming the US for destroying peace in the region and denouncing Gen Musharraf for siding with the US “for money”.

“That dictator was a weak man who sided with the US for money and left the whole nation to face terrorism and chaos,” he said.

“We do not want any American money; it is not even justified as they have brought unimaginable woes to the Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he added.

The JUI-S chief also lauded Gen Ziaul Haq, describing him as a principled man who introduced legal changes as per Islamic principles, which eventually brought peace and tranquillity to the country.

However, he evaded a question about the moral status of money and material support extended by the US to nearly all jihadi groups in the past. -DN

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