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MUZAFFARABAD, Oct 14: Leaders of the Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC), an alliance of mainly religious organisations, addressed a large gathering here on Sunday and expressed complete support for the ongoing armed struggle in Indian occupied Kashmir and criticised Pakistani rulers for supporting the United States.

DPC Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq also spoke about the attack on Malala Yousufzai and its repercussions for the country.

The gathering was held in the University College ground which had been decorated with dozens of small and large banners of different outfits inscribed with jihadi slogans and portraits of their leaders.

“Malala is (like) our daughter and we condemn the attack on her… But the innocent Swat girl has been used as a tool to pave the way for an operation in South and North Waziristan,” Maulana Haq said.

“It is a part of a great game by devilish forces and under its cover they want to bomb us again and defame Islam and Islamic forces.”

He pointed out that US President Barack Obama had shed tears for Malala but when around 1,200 innocent girls were burned to death in Jamia Hafsa he had termed it accomplishment of his agenda.

The Maulana said: “We feel that the Pakistani rulers have ill intentions towards Kashmir and that’s why they have put it on the back burner.

“We have come to assure you that Pakistan’s religious and political forces are behind you and we will sacrifice everything for the freedom of Kashmir.”

The DPC chief also said that while Pakistanis had been feeling depressed at the slavery of Kashmiris for over 60 years, today they themselves were facing a similar situation.

“Today Kashmir is being ruled by the Kashmiris but Pakistan is being ruled by the US and Obama. So how can we ask these (Pakistani) rulers to do something for Kashmiris? Those who have failed to protect their own freedom can do nothing for Kashmir. Pinning hopes on them is futile.”

Asking people to support DPC’s cause, Maulana Haq also tried to dispel a perception that the alliance was backed by the establishment.

“We don’t have political or electoral objectives and there is no hidden force on our back.”

Earlier, Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) Pakistan amir Hafiz Saeed warned India and said that when the US and its allies could not maintain their occupation of Afghanistan, it (India) also would not be able to continue its subjugation of Kashmiris.

“If you don’t learn a lesson from the downfall of the US in Afghanistan and don’t give up the mantra of ‘atoog ang’ (integral part), you yourself will disintegrate,” he said.

About alleged infiltration in occupied Kashmir from Pakistan, the JuD chief said there was no need to send any Pakistani across the Line of Control in the presence of thousands of Kashmiris on both sides ready to render sacrifices for their freedom.

He said the second point of DPC agenda was to “unite the nation against India, prepare minds for jihad in Kashmir and prove that trade agreements, including MFN status for India, are wrong”.

Fazlur Rehman Khalil, head of Ansaar ul Ummah, said Pakistani rulers were a hurdle to the freedom of Kashmir and their wrong policies have pushed the issue into background.

“While they talk about freedom and solidarity with the Kashmiris they befriend India.”

Muslim Conference president and former AJK prime minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, who hosted the gathering, focused more on criticising the People’s Party and its leadership than on the freedom struggle of Kashmir.

He denounced trade relations with India and alleged that conspiracies were being hatched to convert Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK into provinces of Pakistan.

Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, former ISI chief Gen (retd) Hameed Gul, former federal minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed and Abdul Rehman Makki of JuD also addressed the gathering.