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Hafiz Saeed leads mass rally in Islamabad


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Hafiz Saeed, head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa organisation and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, waves to his supporters during a rally marking Pakistan's Defense Day in Islamabad. -Reuters Photo
Hafiz Saeed, head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa organisation and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, waves to his supporters during a rally marking Pakistan's Defense Day in Islamabad. -Reuters Photo
Hafiz Saeed (R), former Pakistani intelligence ISI chief Hamid Gul (C), and Chairman of the Defence of Pakistan coalition Maulana Sami ul-Haq (L) join hands as they attend an anti-India rally in Islamabad. -AFP Photo
Hafiz Saeed (R), former Pakistani intelligence ISI chief Hamid Gul (C), and Chairman of the Defence of Pakistan coalition Maulana Sami ul-Haq (L) join hands as they attend an anti-India rally in Islamabad. -AFP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed appeared openly at a rally in Islamabad on Friday, denouncing India as a terrorist state as thousands of his supporters chanted for “holy war” against the rival nuclear nation.

India has accused Hafiz Saeed of masterminding the 2008 attack on its financial capital Mumbai where gunmen killed 166 people over three days. The United States has offered $10 million for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

As dusk fell, more than 10,000 people gathered in Islamabad in a show of defiance certain to enrage India further following weeks of tensions over the disputed Kashmir border.

“The United States and India are very angry with us. This means God is happy with us,” Saeed told the crowd as supporters chanted “Jihad!” (“Holy war”) and “War will continue until the liberation of Kashmir”. He did not use the word “jihad” himself.

“We are ready for every sacrifice for the liberation of Kashmir,” the stocky and bearded former professor added at the rally marking Pakistan's Defence Day.

Speaking about Sarabjit Singh, an Indian prisoner who died in a Pakistani jail this year and was given a state funeral back home, Saeed told the crowd: “He was a terrorist. How can the Indian government give state honours to a terrorist? This means the Indian government and army are terrorists.”

India has called on Pakistan to bring Saeed to justice, an issue that has stood in the way of rebuilding relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours since the Mumbai carnage.

Saeed is the founder of the LeT, a militant group banned in Pakistan but tolerated unofficially and believed to be close to the army. Saeed has long abandoned its leadership and is now the head of its charity wing.

India is furious that Pakistan has not detained him since it handed over evidence against him to Islamabad, and allows Saeed to live freely in the city of Lahore in a villa with police stationed outside.

Relations plunged to further lows last month after the killing of five Indian soldiers along the so-called Line of Control that separates the two sides in the Himalayan region of Kashmir.


Seeking to defuse tensions, Pakistan's civilian leaders have kept a conciliatory tone, but on Friday, as thousands gathered in Islamabad, emotions spilled into the open.

The mood was strikingly anti-Western and belligerent, with speakers openly declaring their sympathy for the Taliban fighting Western forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.

“India should stop describing Kashmir as its indispensable part,” Saeed said from a makeshift stage mounted on a truck. “Otherwise every part of India would be dispensable for us.”

As the crowd cheered, two men performed a patriotic song threatening to “turn the whole of India into Mumbai”.

Others chanted “Whoever is a friend of India is a traitor” and waved black and white striped flags.

“They should know there are a lot of people here who are waiting for the conquest of India,” Hamid Gul, a former chief of the ISI intelligence service, told the crowd.

“It will be our privilege to take part in this war.”

Saeed founded the LeT, which India blames for the rampage in Mumbai, in the 1990s. He has denied involvement in any attacks.

He abandoned the leadership after India accused the LeT of being behind an attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001.

His charity, linked to the LeT, enjoys popular support for its humanitarian work.

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Comments (47) Closed

Sep 07, 2013 12:57am

Hamid Gul is a "broken arrow", he need to be neutralized.

Sep 07, 2013 12:59am

Another Joker........

salma rahim khan
Sep 07, 2013 01:22am

useless man this is speeding hate and fear .. utterly useless !!

Sep 07, 2013 01:23am

Hafiz Saeed and Hamid Gul together on the stage holding hands gives credence to the nexus between LeT and ISI.

shahid shah
Sep 07, 2013 01:45am

i could not stop my laugh . the day we think like you just imagin what could happen to you. another baluchistan coming soon

Adnan Ahmed
Sep 07, 2013 01:51am

It is these kind of hate spreading germs our country needs to get rid of! Wehere is a drone when you need one!?

Sep 07, 2013 01:57am

Two wrongs make a right............only in Hafiz Saeed's books.

Sep 07, 2013 02:04am

The death & distruction will follow you...U fools.

Sep 07, 2013 02:06am

Is Sharif too on this stage. ISI chief is along with terrorists The openly declare all India will be turned in to Mumbai like attack. What else proof Sharif wants as evidence for Mumbai attack ? Sharif alsi is under thumb of terrorists. Double edged US is playing with firw and providing more fuel in name of Aid

Saifur Rahman
Sep 07, 2013 02:19am

In order to restore peace, it is extremely essential that Pakistan treat these insane fanatics with heavy hands.

Sep 07, 2013 02:26am

"two men performed a patriotic song threatening to

Sep 07, 2013 02:45am

I suppose this was timed to scotch the Sharif-Manmohan talks which becomes from possible to less so.

Sep 07, 2013 02:45am

I am not sure if Hafiz Saeed is capable of turning the whole of India into Mumbai, but with this war-mongering, he sure can turn the whole of Pakistan into Mumbai! I hope the people of Pakistan put him where he belongs, into the dustbin!

faisal baloch
Sep 07, 2013 02:50am

now i am sure that Hameed Gul has really lost his mind.

Sep 07, 2013 03:06am

My dear pakistai friends, you don't want to live peacefully? if you protect terorists like saeed mumbai will be whole pakistan, already pakistan is a failed nation...Bin ladan lived under nose of militry for 7 yerars and you don't know where he was lived, that was the jock, now you protect Let leader Saeed ....wait for dran from India then you will come to know real INDIANS

Sep 07, 2013 03:16am

Terrorist Saeed will like Pakistan to fight WAR with both India and USA -- traitor Hafiz Saeed is Pakistan's ENEMY number ONE -- time to to shorten the leash further..

Sep 07, 2013 03:32am

How do you spell "FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER", Pakistan? You think guys like Saeed are assets, but by accomodating snakes like him in your own home, you are eventually going to bring down your own house.

Sep 07, 2013 03:44am

Ignorance in the guise of religion is still ignorance - these men (all men, their obedient wives and daughters are @ home) promote death and destruction and our beloved army stands by. What an enlightened lot we are!

Sep 07, 2013 03:47am

How can we fight against terrorism when terrorists are openly speaking to public. Former ISI chief Gaul should be the first one to be put on trial.

Khan. I
Sep 07, 2013 03:54am

I wonder why this terrorist Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed is allowed to hold rallies in Pakistan. I guess Punjab Government has no courage to stop him, as a matter of fact Punjab Government gave millions to Jamat-Dawah from their budget which is an extremist party.

Sep 07, 2013 04:08am

I love it when obviously well fed men talk about "sacrifice". It is simply hilarious. Maybe a little less sermons and a little more sacrifice for the poor and unclothed of this country, using their own hard earned bread and not our taxes. A little accountability of our tax money would help

Sep 07, 2013 04:29am

And they say Pakistan is not a terrorists nation.....always wonder why

A shah
Sep 07, 2013 04:47am

Is this the future of Pakistan? Oh dear god!

Zakir Hussain
Sep 07, 2013 05:07am

This guy can not even walk without a stick. He is not in a position to defend himself. How can he along with other crippled old folks on stage defend Pakistan?

Sep 07, 2013 05:21am

With jokers like this openly leading anti-US and anti-India militants and even getting support from ex-armymen, and perhaps currently serving army men, India and the west must keep Pakistan at arms length, and be very vigilant. These snakes can strike at any time, and they must be beheaded, even while Pakistan supports them and protects these snakes. So much for Nawaz and his so called diplomacy.

Jimmy James
Sep 07, 2013 05:39am

The Three Stooges are back in a new tragicomedy. Coming soon to a theater near you. Guaranteed to tickle your funny bone.

Sep 07, 2013 05:36am

By openly supporting terrorism they have showed the whole world that they really are terrorists. Now it is the Government of Pakistan's responsibility that they are punished for aiding and encouraging terrorism, if not the Gov. itself is considered supporting terrorism

Mohammed Yusaf Khan
Sep 07, 2013 05:52am

Thank you Hafiz Saeed! Keep brainwashing these pakis lol

Sep 07, 2013 06:04am

Sad state of affairs. Things are likely to get out of control and it seems quite possible that Hamid Gul and Hafiz Saeed will take Pakistan to war. Another war with India will be disastrous for Pakistan which is already in a mess. Can Pakistan Army counter Indian forces on the east and U.S forces on the West at the same time? I am unable to under stand the attitude of the state towards Terrorism.

Sep 07, 2013 06:59am

hafiz saeed and hamid gul in one shot ... and we are worries about extremism across the border?

Sep 07, 2013 07:30am

Sep 08, 2013 06:43am


Sep 09, 2013 01:42am

Oh!! My!! God!!!!

I cannot BELIEVE that Pakistan is still letting this guy live freely as an innocent civilian. Regardless of whether he and Hamid Gul are able to realize these dhamkis on India or not, surely they are an internal threat for Pakistan too.

Can someone PLEASE explain why the Government is letting them hold these kind of rallies???

Sep 09, 2013 02:58am

Our PM will continue to meet Mr Sharif in a few weeks, India will rise against the Congress in the next elections, and when Modi ultimately becomes PM he will have zero tolerance for such threats. What comes next is surely going to be very interesting to watch.

Sep 09, 2013 08:17am

@OP: People like him are nothing but thugs and deserve to be ignored. The reason Prime Minister of largest democracy is hinting upon making Prime Ministerial meeting conditional to Pakistan checking LeT and Hafiz Saeed is enough of a proof that India is not serious about bringing peace. Increased GDP has blinded our neighbors and they have become arrogant beyond repair. The only way forward for Pakistan is to exceed India in terms of economy and prosperity. The whole nation must unite in this pursuit. Letting people like Hafiz Saeed call the shots is as foolish as allowing the popular media rhetoric of India-Pakistan friendship to be believed in. Peaceful competition (but without trusting intentions of Indians) is the only healthy option for Pakistan.

Sep 09, 2013 11:06am

As the crowd cheered, two men performed a patriotic song threatening to

Sep 09, 2013 12:20pm

A well developed and prosperous Pakistan is better for Islam than mere sending terrorist to fight Jihad against India. How poor is their understanding of religion which is a matter of personal choice. How can they impose their version of religion to masses.

Sep 09, 2013 12:40pm

My only concern is that how could these people roamed freely on the streets in Islamabad, despite this organization being banned? and today an APC is under way. I am not sure about the result but I am not too hopeful either.

Sep 09, 2013 03:56pm

@Luttapi: U knw what u r living in fools paradise...

Sep 09, 2013 06:16pm

We have Hafiz Saeed you have BJP.

Sep 09, 2013 06:20pm

Look up Mayaben Kodnani.

Sep 09, 2013 06:23pm

Dear Pakistani brothers, It is good to read all the comments. No one has supported the ill wishes of these two foolish guys. This is what is required from citizens of both countries to live peacefully.

Sep 09, 2013 08:54pm

@Mustafa: That's why Pakistan is most respected country in world because you have terrorists like Hafiz. Isn't it?

Sep 09, 2013 09:12pm

Ugly crippled old goblins like these rule over the nation. To cleanse it, we must get rid of these men first.

Sep 09, 2013 09:38pm

is hafeez face of islam ?

Sep 09, 2013 10:36pm

The day right and wrong are treated in the right and wrong manner respecively in Pakistan, it will prosper. Right now shedding crocodile tears and thinking itself as smart it is slowly getting pulled into a dirty swirl.

Sep 09, 2013 11:29pm

Shame on you dawn for allowing all the anti hafiz saeed comments.. hafiz saeed is a very credible man, and the support in his rally shows the respect he has among Pakistanis.