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LAHORE, Dec 4: The Difa-i-Pakistan Council (DPC) has announced a series of protests in major cities and a ‘peace march’ from The Mall to the Wagah border on Dec 16.

At a press conference at Mansoora after a meeting of the council’s leadership here on Tuesday, DPC Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq held India, United States and Israel responsible for the incidence of target killings and other terrorist activities in Karachi and various parts Balochistan.

“The bloodshed of religious scholars, seminary students, religious/political workers and others in Karachi and Balochistan is being sponsored by the ‘troika.’ And the corrupt rulers too are dangerous for the country’s defence,” he said.

The DPC is an alliance of over 40 religious parties including Jamatud Dawa, Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (S). Awami Muslim League and Pakistan Muslim League (Z) are also among the council’s member parties.

Announcing a series of upcoming efforts amid peaceful protests and conferences in coming days, the DPC chief said the council would exhibit its power in Lahore by holding a peace march from The Mall to Wagah on Dec 16, followed by an Aman Conference in Karachi on Dec 17, an All Parties Conference in Karachi on Dec 30, conference on Kashmir issue in Islamabad on Jan 5 and a protest march on Feb 5 in Rawalpindi.

He said the council would continue its protests against restoration of the Nato supplies, drone attacks and other ‘illegal’ activities in the country.

Terming the situation in Karachi and Balochistan alarming, Mr Haq said the DPC would invite all parties, including PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, JUI-F president Maulana Fazlur Rahman, to participate in the APC as well as the peace march to be staged in the port city to underscore the need for an end to bloodletting and target killings.

Replying to media queries, he said the DPC would be happy if all the parties including ANP and MQM joined hands for resolving the Karachi issue. He said bloodshed and unrest in Karachi was not a sectarian issue. “In fact, different forces are competing with one another to secure control of the city, causing loss of lives of innocent people.”

Expressing grief over the fall of Dhaka in 1971, the DPC chief termed Dec 16 a black day in the country’s history. “That is why we decided to stage a peace march on Dec 16.”

He welcomed the coming visit of the All Parties Hurriat Conference delegation from Kashmir to New Delhi. However, he condemned New Delhi’s decision to disallow veteran Kashmir leader Syed Ali Gilani to join the delegation.

Asked about the role of the DPC in the presence of an army and whether it was army’s B-team, he rejected the perception. “Had the armed forces done their duty well, the country would have averted the menace of terrorism, instability and the US involvement. So the armed forces have to do their work and we have to do ours.”