Lahore, Apr 18: Amid growing tensions in Jammu and Kashmir, Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed has pledged full support to the Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom and said he backed 'jihad' in the troubled state in concert with Pakistani government and the army.
He also warned that the movement for attaining freedom will intensify in the coming days, forcing India to give up Kashmir. [Jammu and Kashmir Bandh: One dead as Police fires on pro-Masarat protesters in Narbal]
"Jihad is the duty of an Islamic government...there is a government in Pakistan and it has always taken the stand that it is the right of Kashmiris to attain freedom.
"I say what our army will do to secure the right of the Kashmiris is jihad....We extend help to Kashmiris alongside the the Pakistani government....we call this jihad," he said in a TV interview.
Addressing a rally in Faislabad district of Punjab, Saeed protested the violence in the Kashmir Valley over the past few days following the killing of two youths by the army in Tral in Pulwama district. [Kashmir battle: Hafiz Saeed exposes Pakistan, but will it blush?]
"I have firm belief that more the Indian government suppresses the voice of Kashmiris, the more there will be reaction. The freedom movement in (Indian administered) Kashmir will further intensify in coming days and eventually India will have to give freedom to Kashmiris," he asserted.
"If the Indian government resorts to violence to suppress the voice of Kashmiris we will also retaliate in a strong manner," Saeed said, continuing his anti-India rhetoric.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba founder asked the Pakistani government to help the "oppressed" Kashmiri Muslims.
"It is not very heartening that Pakistan is silent on the Indian atrocities in Kashmir. The Nawaz Sharif government should at least draw the attention of the world towards it. I want the government to fully support the Kashmiri cause and stand shoulder to shoulder with Kashmiris in their struggle to secure freedom from India," he said.
Asserting that the freedom for Kashmiris could be attained only through Jihad, Saeed said he will raise his voice for them across Pakistan by holding rallies.