No links with Al Qeada: Qazi
DARGAI: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Qazi Hussain Ahmed on Tuesday denied that his party had any links with Al Qaeda and other militant organisations.
“We do not believe in violence,” Qazi told a public meeting in Sakhkot Bazar. He criticised the government for charging JI leaders with links to Al Qaeda and other extremist groups. Qazi accused the government of taking directions from the United States.
“The US is the biggest of all terrorists and is responsible for killing tens of thousands of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan”, NNI quoted him as saying. The JI chief denied differences within the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), saying all religious parties of the alliance were united. Earlier talking to journalists in Dargai, Qazi resolved that the JI would not be intimidated by government accusations. He said the US and Pakistani governments had vested interests in keeping Al Qaeda ‘alive.’
He said JI activists loved peace and criticised the government for not allowing them to attend the jirgas in Bajaur, Khyber and Mohmand agencies. He said that the MMA was working to unite Shias and Sunnis.
Staff report add from Islamabad: Deputy Secretary General of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) Liaqat Baloch accused the government of pressurising the MMA on the issue of the president’s army uniform.
“The recent statement of the interior minister that Al Qaeda members were captured from the houses of Jamaat-e-Islami members was a pressure tactic,” he said. “Through such statements, the government wants the MMA not to press its demand that President Musharraf remove his uniform according to the 17th constitutional amendment.”
Mr Baloch said that the president was constitutionally bound to remove his uniform by December 31st 2004 and that the MMA would not compromise on this issue. He said that that the government was trying to sabotage the “popular support” of the MMA through these “baseless statements”. This kind of pressure will strengthen the unity of the six party religious alliance, he said.
“All arrested persons who were affiliated with the JI have been released by the courts,” said Mr Baloch. “The government also arrested Dr Akmal Wahid and Dr Arshad Wahid some time back but released them because they were not involved in any terrorist activities.”