Pakistan's top jihadi leader says the country is incomplete without Kashmir, Junagarh, Hyderabad, and Munabao, and vows to continue the fight to make these states/regions part of Pakistan.
"Pakistan is a country for Muslims of the subcontinent. Therefore, it is incomplete without Kashmir," Hafiz Saeed, founder of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, declared to the weekly magazine Nida-e-Millat [Voice of the Nation] in an interview published in its edition dated August 18, 2004.
"Pakistan is also incomplete without Hyderabad, Junagarh and Munabao because these [erstwhile princely] states had announced accession with Pakistan, but the Hindus subjugated them," he said. "That is why it is our duty to free these states from Hindu subjugation and assure their Muslim population that they will become part of Pakistan. This is our agenda for Pakistan's completion. We will continue to propagate it in India through speech and writing and take these states back through jihad.'
Nida-e-Millat is owned by Majid Nizami, who is staunchly anti-India.
Lashing out at Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's policies, Saeed said: "Pakistan has changed its policies towards India at the US behest. India has never been Pakistan's friend, and will never be. India is Pakistan's eternal enemy and will remain so. India considers Kashmir its atoot ang [integral part]."
When former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Lahore in 1999, he had made a special, symbolic trip to the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, thus openly acknowledging Pakistan's right to exist as an independent, sovereign state. But Saeed was not impressed.
"India has not reconciled with Pakistan's sovereignty," he said. "We cannot change the Hindu mindset by changing our policies. However, we are alienating Kashmiris and adding insult to their injury.
"We should be committed to our Kashmir cause. There is no need for friendship with India. First of all, the issue of Kashmir and water should be resolved. India is trying to make Pakistan infertile by blocking its water. If India is sincere with Pakistan, it should stop constructing a dam on Pakistan's water and give Kashmiris freedom."
Afghan rebel leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar had told this correspondent in an interview that Kashmir is a political issue that cannot be resolved through a jihad. But Saeed challenges him.
"I am very much satisfied with the pace of Kashmir's jihad," he said. "Kashmiris will win their freedom struggle. They will never live with India. The policies of Pakistan are causing them great damage. If Pakistan ignores the US pressures and fully supports the Kashmiris, India will not be able to keep its forces in Kashmir for a longer period. It will be condemned to withdraw."
Denying reports of a split in his outfit, Saeed accused the Indian intelligence agencies of propaganda to have it declared a terrorist outfit.
"The news about a split in the Jamaat-ud-Dawa are baseless and being spread by Indian agencies that are enemies of Islam," he said. "JD is on the target list of the Indian agencies. Our media is under their control. That is why it is spearheading such propaganda. An English daily [Daily Times] is spearheading malicious propaganda against JD. I am just surprised at the naivete of this daily."
Saeed also accused the US of masterminding terrorist activities around the world. "Jihad has unfortunately been called terrorism. Jihad is the US target. Bomb blasts and all other terrorist activities are being masterminded by the US and its allies such as India and Israel.
"Everything is blamed on the mujahideen under the cover of al-Qaeda. There is nothing like al-Qaeda. It is malicious propaganda against Islam. I am really sorry to learn that the government has failed to understand this American move. It is forging friendship with India and the US instead of fighting them."
Saeed had earlier stated that his outfit would send mujahideen to Iraq for a jihad. But in his interview, he took a different position, though still endorsing jihad in Iraq.
'We don't prepare suicide attackers," he said. "We are not sending troops to Iraq. This is US and Indian propaganda to malign and undermine JD so that it can be declared a terrorist outfit.
"We endorse jihad in Iraq just like jihad in Kashmir. If the Americans could travel thousands of miles to attack Afghanistan and Iraq, then it is every Muslim's right to fight in Iraq. Thus, we preach jihad and urge Muslims to help Iraq. The US and its allies are spreading terrorism in Iraq."
Saeed also described Pakistan as a slave country. Responding to a question on Shaukat Aziz becoming prime minister, he said: "There is nothing like democracy in Pakistan. Everything is decided by the US. Shaukat Aziz also falls in this category. It is very painful for us that our decisions are made by foreign powers."
On the upcoming US presidential election, he said: "Even if the Democrats win the elections, there will be no change in the US policies. In the US setup, parties are just an eyewash. In fact, the Jewish lobby decides the fate of the US. The Jews are the kingmakers. Bush is just a pawn that has been sacrificed.
"The Jews are the worst enemies of Islam. Therefore, there will be no pro-Muslim change. The US economy is worsening. The US is no more as powerful as it used to be. I see a good change in future. Muslim countries will have to unite. If they unite on one platform, they could cause the US's disintegration."