Lahore, Nov 28 (PTI): Leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Jamaat-e-Islami on Sunday asked people to prepare for a jihad after the elapse of the 15-day deadline set by the Pakistan government for the US to vacate Shamsi airbase.
The leaders gave the call for preparations for a holy war while addressing a rally organised in Lahore by Al Muhammadia Students Pakistan, the student wing of the JuD.
The rally was organised to protest against the cross-border NATO air strike on Pakistani military posts and the government's move to give India Most Favoured Nation-status.
Pakistan responded angrily to the air strike that killed 24 soldiers on Saturday by shutting all NATO supply routes and asking the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, reportedly used by CIA-operated drones.
JuD leader Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi told the gathering that if the US did not vacate Shamsi airbase, the group would announce a new jihad against the Pakistan government.
Farooqi said an announcement in this regard would be made at a meeting of the Defence of Pakistan Council to be held at the Minar-e-Pakistan on December 18. Jamaat-e-Islami leader Farid Ahmed Paracha said jihad is the only solution for all types of "terrorism”, including drone attacks and attacks on Pakistan's military posts.
Senior JuD leader Ameer Hamza said the US is an enemy, and not an ally, of Pakistan. The Pakistan government should force US citizens to leave the country and eliminate all CIA stations and bases to end terrorism, he said.
Hurriyat Conference leader Ali Shah Gilani, who addressed the gathering over phone from Jammu and Kashmir, condemned the NATO attack and said Pakistan was facing problems as a result of being a part of the US-led coalition against terror.
Syed Waseem Akhtar, head of the Jamaat-e-Islami's Punjab chapter, condemned the "aggression' by NATO forces and said the Pakistani military should respond to the attack.
The protestors also offered funeral prayers for the soldiers killed in Saturday’s attack. The prayers were led by JuD leader Abdul Rehman Makki.
This was the JuD's third major protest in Lahore in a week.