LAHORE  - An alliance of religio-political parties, known for pressure politics, staged a show of power in the provincial capital to press the government and military authorities for taking tougher stance on American drones and the planned Indian wall at the LoC.

Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), a conglomeration of different Jamaats and Jamiats, announced launching of a countrywide movement for stoppage of Nato supplies and prevention of construction of a wall by India along the de facto border in Kashmir.

Addressing thousands of participants, gathered to vent their anger at the authorities’ apparent ‘double standards’ on the issue of US drone strikes, the speakers also announced that they would convene a national jirga to ponder upon the issues concerning the sovereignty of Pakistan.

The participants of the rally, holding banners and placards inscribed with the demand to end drone strikes in Pakistani territory and chanting slogans against Nato and the US, marched at The Mall from Neela Gunbad to Masjid e Shuhada, where a public meeting was held.

The speakers demanded the government order the army to shoot down the drone attacks and block the Nato supplies. They said that peace could not be restored in the country until infiltration from Eastern and Western borders is stopped, and warned that drone strikes could be extended even to cities like Lahore if they would not be stopped in tribal areas.

The public meeting was presided over by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-S chief Samiul Haq and addressed by Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Gen (r) Hameed Gul, former Prime Minister AJK Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan, Fazalur Rehman Khalil, Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, Ibtesam Elahi Zaheer, Ameer Hazma, Abdul Raoof Farooqi and others.They said if the new leadership of army, civilian rulers and politicians at large come on same page for defence of the country, America would not dare carry out drone strikes in the country. They were of the view that America, India and Israel wanted to divide Pakistani nation along the sectarian lines. They also said if India would build wall on Line of Control (LoC), they would demolish it and would not let the Indians divide Kashmir.

The speakers demanded Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary take sou moto action against drone attacks. They alleged that government was planning to handover the Jacobabad airbase to Americans again, but the nation would not accept it. They said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should respect the emotion of the masses and urged the PM, who visited Afghanistan on Saturday, not to bow down to President Karzai because he was a ‘puppet in the hands of US’.

Addressing the gathering, JUI-S chief Samiul Haq demanded the government implement resolutions adopted in National Assembly and all parties’ conferences regarding drone strikes. He appealed all the religious parties to join hands at a common platform to form a joint strategy for defence of the country. He said the nation was expecting from Nawaz Sharif that he would order to shoot down the drones and would free the country from the slavery of the US but he did not do so. He said DPC after a silence of seven months was again in the field. He also said that due to poverty people were forced to commit suicides.

Hafiz Saeed urged PM Sharif to become true leader of the people for defence of the country. He said DPC wanted to unite the nation on single agenda of defence of Pakistan. He said America wanted to take revenge of its defeat in Afghanistan from Pakistan. The Jamaatud Dawa chief, who has been blamed by India for Mumbai attacks, said that an Indian official has revealed that New Delhi itself planned and orchestrated that attack.

Gen (r) Hamid Gul said, “We are in war with America and India. On one side India was committing aggression on LoC and on the other it was conspiring to destabilise Pakistan through her clandestine activities in Afghanistan.” He said 84 acres land had been given to the American Embassy in Islamabad and 50 acres were also being given in Lahore. “Is Pakistan a colony of America or will US carry out the drone strikes from here?” he questioned.

Former AJK PM Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan asked the leaders of DPC to march towards the LoC in order to stop the construction of wall by India. He also said they would support DPC at every level.