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KARACHI, April 3: Speakers at an Iraq conference on Iraq on Thursday warned the government not to support any post-war US-led government in Iraq as such a government would also be illegitimate like the war itself.

Rejecting the perception that the US-led invasion of Iraq was aimed at ousting Saddam Hussein and his regime and not to take control of Iraqi oil resources, they maintained that the occupation of a central Arab state would provide the US a forward base to impose its hegemony in the Middle East and target other Muslim countries, including Syria, Iran and Pakistan.

The “Iraq Conference” was organised by Islami Jamiat Talaba at University of Karachi to discuss the post-Iraq war situation and role of the Ummah.

Delivering his keynote address, secretary-general of Jamaat-i-Islami Syed Munawar Hassan, asked the government to change its foreign and domestic policies, expel FBI agents and withdraw logistic facilities given to the US forces after Sept 11, otherwise people would get rid of this government.

“The million marches, organized by the Muttahida Majlis-e- Amal and attended by millions of people in all five big cities of the country, give a message to the government to review its policies”, he said and warned if the government continued its policy of supporting the US, the last march would be towards the capital to get rid of the regime.

He severely criticized President Pervaiz Musharraf for giving the slogan “Pakistan First”, saying he actually meant “US First” by uttering these words.

The whole nation had rejected the dictation by supporting the Iraqi people in their time of distress, he said.

Commenting on the Iraq war, JI Secretary General said Iraq had won the battle against the US and its allies on each and every front.

“Now nobody in the world is ready to believe any more what the western media is presenting about the state of affairs in Iraq”.

The whole world has declared US-led invasion illegitimate and unauthorised whereas the US after 15 days of war had not been able to occupy a single big city, he added.

Criticizing the US President for his attitude towards the Afghan and Al Qaeda prisoners detained at Cuba, he said now US and its allies have realized the importance of Geneva Convention and human rights of their marines detained by Iraq.

Syed Munawar Hassan maintained that Pakistanis want supremacy of the parliament, and its army to defend country’s frontiers not to rule and treat citizens like their slaves. People of the country would never allow this regime to impose US policies in Pakistan, he added.

He also criticised the KU VC Dr. Zafar Saeed Saify for not allowing former students of KU and politicians to speak to students and asked him to lead students in protest against US and its policies.

Secretary-general of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Meraj Mohammad Khan declared US-led war as an invasion and asked the government to prepare itself for playing its role in emerging world scenario.

“Over 90 per cents of world nations and countries, including Arab League despite their wrong-doings, have rejected the invasion of Iraq”, he said and added that the US and its allies have no right to impose their generals as rulers over Iraqi people.

PTI secretary-general said despite invading Iraq, solely relying on its military might by bypassing all international laws and ignoring widespread protests the world over, the US is facing humiliating defeat on all fronts, including media, diplomacy and moral front.

He agreed that the war against Iraq was not merely for taking control of oil resources, but to help Israel in widening its frontiers, targeting other Muslim countries and imposing US polices on the rest of the world.

Paying tributes to the Arab and other independent media organizations, he maintained that their role in this world had presented an ugly face of the so-called democratic American and western civilisation.

Former Sindh governor and leader of PML-(N) Sindh Mamnoon Hussain said although Iraqi President Saddam Hussain had done fatal mistakes in the past, this time his stance was being supported by the whole world.

He asked the students to start a campaign on the internet to inform the Arabs about Indo-Israeli relations, saying although Iraq had good relations with India, currently it is supporting Israel against Arab countries.

The former governor also advized the students not to support military dictatorship, saying worst democracy is always better than good military rule.

“Whenever Pakistan faced any difficulty during the course of history, you will find some military dictator ruling the country”, he added.

Noted scholar Prof. Shamim Akhtar was of the view that invasion of Iraq was not unexpected. However, it would have serious consequences for the neighbouring Arab states, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Giving reference of the UN Charter and its additional protocols, he said war against Iraq had no legitimacy and the resulting government after the war would also be illegitimate.

Severely criticizing the US and Britain for killing innocent people in the garb of freedom, he said these countries provided chemical and biological weapons to use them against its opponents.

Shahnawaz Farooqui, Naveed Anwar, Noman Ahmed also spoke.—PPI