ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) president and Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmed has condemned what he called the US bombing of a seminary in Bajaur Agency in which 80 religious students and their head teacher were killed and announced a country-wide protest day on Tuesday.
Speaking at a news conference at his residence here Qazi Hussain asked people to rise up by coming out on the streets against “a coward regime led by a few generals” and start a forceful campaign to oust them from power.
Alleging that it was an American action as no Pakistani force needed to act so brutally against its own people, Qazi Hussain said the seminary was located within the jurisdiction of tribal administration which could detain anyone it wanted.
On the basis of the information provided by NWFP senior minister and provincial Amir of JI Sirajul ul Haq who later announced his resignation from the ministry, Qazi said the US forces bombed the seminary at 5am in which only three out of 83 students between the ages of 10 and 15 survived and their head teacher Maulana Liaqat Ali was also killed and their bodies torn into pieces, which were packed in gunny bags before burial.
He declared that the MMA would soon launch a forceful movement after deciding in its upcoming supreme council meeting in the second week of November and the JI shoora meeting from 4 to 6 November in Lahore.
He parried questions about giving a deadline on resigning the assemblies and quitting two provincial governments by the religious alliance, saying that it would be decided at an appropriate time.
Qazi had earlier announced to resign the National Assembly seat but had later taken back his decision on resistance. The MMA had also retracted from its announcement of launching along with Imran Khan a campaign last September even if all other parties failed to join. Instead, he claimed, he was now working to take along the maximum number of political parties in his anti-government campaign.
He alleged that the US attack was to pre-empt inking of an accord between Bajaur elders and the political administration in line with the agreement that was earlier reached between the military command and the militants in Waziristan agency.
He said bombing a seminary inside Pakistan’s territory was a clear declaration of war on the country but the army leadership out of cowardice to accept this challenge had taken the brunt on its own.
In a hard-hitting statement, Qazi alleged that Gen Musharraf was destroying the image of Pakistan and the army’s role of a citadel around Pakistani frontiers by shutting its eyes to US aggression inside Pakistan’s territory as it had done in Damadola earlier.
He said his appeals to the nation to come out on to the streets and expel the army-led regime which is incompetent and coward.
He said that the NWFP senior minister who had resigned in protest against the American attack had led the funeral prayers of the students killed in the attack.
He said that he would himself visit the agency on Tuesday to offer Fateha for the departed souls without caring about entry restrictions in the tribal areas.