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India only wants to cause harm to Pakistan: Saeed

April 22, 2011 01:32 IST

Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on Thursday rubbished Pakistan governments efforts to improve relations with India, alleging that country had engaged in dialogue only to 'cause harm' to Pakistan and to sideline the Kashmir issue.

"They (the Pakistan government) are walking on a path to obtain India's confidence and to improve the friendship with India. But India does not want friendship or anything else, it wants to cause harm to Pakistan and to weaken the cause of Kashmir," Saeed told mediapersons on the sidelines of a function in Islamabad.

Noting that former President Pervez Musharrafs regime had introduced "many new options" to settle the Kashmir issue, Saeed said: "This government has not talked about new options but I think that they are not fulfilling their responsibilities on the Kashmir issue."

Saeed, the founder of the banned Lashker-e-Tayiba, further said, "We think that in these circumstances, all of the parties in Pakistan should be brought together and there should be a big movement (on the Kashmir issue) inside and outside the parliament, and we will continue our efforts for this."

He claimed the United States was behind efforts to "give India a major role in the region" and contended that "this will be a big problem for Pakistan".

Saeed made the remarks during his second public appearance in Islamabad in 10 days to attend a conference of political and religious parties to denounce the desecration of the Quran by American pastor Terry Jones.

On April 11, the Lahore-based Saeed came to Islamabad to lead funeral prayers for Kashmiri leader Maulvi Showkat Ahmed Shah, recently killed in a bomb attack in Srinagar, and used the occasion to rubbish India-Pakistan cricket diplomacy. He also vowed to continue the "jihad" in Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to US plans to pull out its troops from war-torn Afghanistan, Saeed said the situation in the region was changing rapidly.

Pakistan has many problems, like rising prices. There are also problems on Pakistan's eastern and western borders, he said.

Asked about concerns expressed by US officials like Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen about the LeT and its alleged links to Al Qaeda, Saeed said: "Go and ask Mike Mullen about this. The LeT is a group from Kashmir and you can go there and ask them about it. We are working in Pakistan and you can ask me about my work."

During the conference held at the Islamabad Hotel on Thursday afternoon, Saeed sat at the main table, flanked by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chairman Raja Zafrul Haq and Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hassan.

Former federal minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed too attended the conference though there were no representatives from the PML-Q or the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

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