Radical Islamic parties, banned militant sectarian outfits and ex-jihadist groups known for their hardline stance on Kashmir, Afghanistan and sectarian issues, thronged in Islamabad from various parts of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday to show solidarity with the Saudi kingdom, which is weeding out the Shia Houthi rebellion in Yemen.

The Difae Harmain-e-Sharifain rally was originally organised by the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) but soon mushroomed into a much larger imitative which included the leadership of Muslim Conference, Sipah-e-Shahaba and a large numbers of students from various madrassas.

The participants of the rally urged the government to stop making excuses and send troops to Saudi Arabia to protect the holy places. They said that it is due on Pakistan and its people to protect ibn-Saud’s kingdom because time and again it has helped Pakistan and its people. Their benevolent monetary support during different wars, the Afghan jihad and the 2005 earthquake stands out on its own, they said.

Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat chief Ahmed Ludhianvi said that he and his party would not let anyone play politics on the matter. He said that the time has come to guard the integrity of the Saudi kingdom and the Kaaba without any hesitation.

Harkat-ul-Mujahideen founder Ansar-ul-Umma asked how it was possible for the Sharif government to show reluctance with respect to defending Saudi Arabia. He asked why Pakistan was playing at the hands of anti-Saudi actors. He added that even if Pakistan was to forget the past graciousness of the Ibn Saud clan on the Sharif family, how was it possible for anyone to forget the recently received $1.5 billion?

Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed said that some elements in the country are creating schisms in the Pakistani society to create confusion in the peoples’ minds against Saudi kingdom. He was critical of politicians and the media persons who had said that the present conflict in Yemen is an issue between two countries.

“It is an issue for the entire Muslim world because the integrity of Makkah and Madina is at stake and the rebels want to seize the holy Kaaba,” he said, adding that parliamentarians would not be able to win next time if they are thinking of opposing the government’s move to send troops for Saudi Arabia’s defence.