Rezaul H Laskar
Islamabad, Feb 6 (PTI) Extremist leaders, includingJuD chief Hafiz Saeed, have stepped up calls for jihad againstIndia, even advocating the use of nuclear weapons if needed inthe "war for Kashmir".
The vicious comments at a massive rally organised byJamaat-ud-Dawah to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day, have comeat a time when India and Pakistan are trying to find ways torevive the peace process.
At the rally, speaker after speaker espoused the useof jihad or holy war to settle the Kashmir issue and Saeedsaid this approach should be adopted even if even leads to a"nuclear war" with India.
Saeed, blamed by India for masterminding the Mumbaiattacks, said: "I want to give a message to (Prime Minister)Manmohan Singh � quit Kashmir or get ready to face a war".
He was addressing a rally of about 20,000 supporterson the Mall, one of the main thoroughfares of Lahore,yesterday.
"You (Singh) must remember that the movement of theKashmiri people is nearing an end and I am telling you veryclearly to immediately leave Kashmir.
"Otherwise we are ready to start a war against you toget this at any cost," Saeed told the rally held to markKashmir Solidarity Day.
"The only solution to the Kashmir issue is jihad,"said Saeed.
The jihad should continue "as long as Kashmir remainsunder Indian occupation" and there would be "no problem" ifthe fighting leads to nuclear war between Pakistan and India,he contended.
JuD deputy chief Abdur Rehman Makki demanded thatPakistan''s Prime Minister should set up an independentministry for the jihad in Kashmir.
"The JuD will provide the budget for this ministry if(the Prime Minister) accepts our proposal," he said.
Offering to provide one million trained fighters towage the jihad, Makki called on the Pakistan Army chief toprovide Kalashnikovs for these fighters.
Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Liaquat Baloch, whoalso addressed the rally, said it was obligatory for Muslimsto be ready for jihad.
The rally was held a day before the Indian andPakistani Foreign Secretaries meeting on the margins of aSAARC conference in Bhutan to find ways to give a nudge to thepeace process, stalled since the Mumbai attacks of November2008 that killed 166 people.
Saeed, however, claimed India wants to "linger" on theKashmir issue on the pretext of holding a dialogue withPakistan. .