MMA calls upon Arabs to unite against invaders
* Urges UNSC to supply arms to Iraq
KARACHI: The chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and secretary general of the six-party religious alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday said the attack on Iraq was attack on the entire Arab world and all the Arabs should collectively counter the aggression under one command.
Addressing “Meet the Press” programme at the Karachi Press Club, he said the US and its allies’ attack had humiliated the United Nations (UN) and now the other permanent members of the Security Council - France, Russia, Germany and China - should support Iraq openly with all possible means and restore the UN’s lost prestige. “These countries may provide equipment enabling Iraq to defend itself against the aggression.”
The JUI-F chief also urged the petroleum exporting countries to stop supply of oil to the US and its allies as a “least help”.
He said the US failed to conquer Iraq in one week as it had planned. He said its think tanks had suffered a big blow for their miscalculation about the psyche of Iraqis. “Iraqis love their country more than they hate Saddam Hussein. Americans failed to realise this simple fact,” he added.
The JUI-F chief said he did not consider the Iraq war a crusade as most of the world’s Christian countries opposed the war.
Justifying the religious parties’ belated reaction to the Iraq war, he said: “When we saw the Western countries’ anti-US mood, we decided to let the West show its explicit defiance against the US. Had we responded hurriedly, Americans would have got a pretext to blackmail Europeans that it was waging a just war against the extremist Islamist forces.”
He said the MMA would observe Friday as “Protest Day” by staging anti-US demonstrations and taking out rallies across the country. He said ‘Million March’ would be carried out in Peshawar on Sunday, in Quetta on April 2nd and in Multan on April 4th.
He said the Pakistani government’s stand on the Iraq crisis did not reflect the sentiments of its people. “The world should not consider Pakistani government’s pro-US policy reflective of 140 million people of Pakistan.”
He also condemned the government for not allowing a resolution in the parliament to condemn the US war on Iraq. He appealed to the people of Pakistan to cancel their functions as a gesture of sympathy and solidarity with the Iraqi people. He also called for boycotting the American items.
Asked whether the Islamists made a mistake by fighting against the former Soviet Union, he said “it was a mistake both ways.”
“The Islamists would not have become a source to the USSR’s disintegration had it not tried to occupy an independent Islamic country.” Asked whether his party would encourage Jihad in Iraq, he said: “We have no links with any Jihadi organisation.”