Right wing religious groups on Wednesday demanded the government must adopt an aggressive stance towards India on Kashmir issue as they warned they would not allow trade with the eastern neighbour unless the government changed its docile stance.

Converged on the platform of Jamaat ud Dawah (JuD), representatives of various religious groups criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for not taking up Kashmir issue, water disputes and other contentious issues with his new Indian counterpart during his recent visit to New Delhi.

Kashmir should not be taken lightly

JuD had gathered large numbers of students and workers in Aabpara chowk in the heart of capital city on culmination of its weeklong activities to celebrate Youm-e-Takbeer – the date on which Pakistan conducted atomic tests in 1998 in response to India’s atomic blasts.

In his concluding speech, JuD chief Hafiz Saeed asked the government to adopt a tough stance on Kashmir, and force India to follow Nehru-Liaqat agreement of early 1950’s under which both the countries had pledged to protect minorities in their respective countries.

He also criticised efforts to normalise trade ties with India and suggested that Pakistan should focus on its trade ties with China and work on constituting a trade and economic block with Muslim countries on the pattern of European Union.

Ansar ul Islam’s Maulana Fazalur Rehman Khalil said Indians had proved the two nation  theory correct by electing extremist right leader wing Narendra Modi. “By acquiring atomic technology, Pakistani nation has followed an important command of Allah, who has ordered the Muslims to stay strong for their defence,” he added.

Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) former chief Gen Hameed Gul highlighted the services of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Gen Ziaul Haq, Dr A Q Khan, Dr Samar Mubarakmand, successive military chiefs  and many others in acquiring atomic deterrence.

“One of our real heroes was also former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan who remained attached with this atomic programme in different capacities,” he said, adding that Pakistan had acquired atomic technology by 1984 and it had conducted cold test on April 20, 1989.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Senator Talha Mahmood said the country was facing problems because the leadership was not sincere. He said Pakistan had become an atomic power because of the spirit of endurance of its people.

JuD central leader Amir Hamza said Modi had declared Hindutva rule in India, which was unacceptable. He claimed that if that happened India would split on the basis of religion once again and the Muslim population would converge to form another Pakistan. “The other religious minorities will have their separate homelands in what is today India,” he claimed.

Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Babar Awan said the prime minister’s team had let him down.

“The premier should have been briefed on the Kashmir cause. There are 23 conventions of the United Nations on Kashmir that are still pending,” he said.

Babar demanded that when the president addresses a joint session of both houses early next month, a resolution stressing to resolve the Kashmir dispute should be passed in the beginning of the session.

JuD central leader Professor Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki said the credit for May 28 atomic explosions went to the military. Criticizing the PM’s visit to India, Makki said they were not against the PM but the way things were being handled it seemed the government was its own enemy.

“There is no comparison between India and Pakistan,” he said alluding to PM Nawaz’s statement on the similarities between both the countries.

Meanwhile Yaum-e-Takbeer was celebrated across the country and programmes and rallies were held in cities including Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Hazara division and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.