Urgent: Please sign and widely distribute this petition: Ban the Difa-e-Pakistan Council
For the last several weeks, the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (Defence of Pakistan Council – DPC), a union mainly comprising two banned militant organizations Siaphe-Sahaba Pakistan (aka Lashkar-e-Jhangvi or Ahle Sunnat Waal Jamaat) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (aka Lashkar-e-Taiba), has been blatantly violating Pakistan’s and international laws in full public sight.
The union of vehemently anti-Shia, anti-Barelvi, anti-Ahmadi, anti-Christian organizations has organized public rallies in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan. The DPC has also organized corner meetings in other parts of the country including Islamabad and Karachi. Its next public rally is due in Karachi on 12 February.
Apparently, everyone in Pakistan is in knowledge of the illegal, anti-Pakistan activities of the DPC except Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik.
Rehman Malik is the same person who has notoriously taken pro-army stance in justifying and covering up the Baloch genocide currently taking place in Balochistan by Pakistan army and its various agencies. Therefore, his apologist and denialist stance on an ISI-sponsored project (DPC) is hardly surprising.
Here is a sophisticated TV commercial showing flags of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Taiba, with message full of hatred against India and USA, inviting people to attend the DPC rally in Karachi on 12 February 2012:
While we are clearly in knowledge that DPC (Defence of Pakistan Council) is an ISI-sponsored Jihadi-sectarian project which is also supported by the Punjab government (PML-N’s Chief Minister in Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has provided full support to the DPC in organizing its three conferences in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan) and Imran Khan (who sent a special message of support which was read out in the DPC’s Lahore rally), it will be unfair to exonerate the federal government, Prime Minister Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik, from the whole affair.
Terrorist mullah Ahmed Ludhyanvi’s speech in Sipah-e-Sahaba’s Conference Islamabad 03 Feb 2012
Given that Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (repackaged as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat – ASWJ) is a banned organization not only in Pakistan but also internationally, and given that the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) is banned internationally and is in the Government of Pakistan’s so called Watch List, why are these organizations being allowed to promote their hateful agendas, hoist their flags, chant hateful slogans against Christians, Jews, Ahmadis, Shias etc, create xenophobia about Iran, India, USA, Israel etc, and recruit more Jihadi-sectarian militants and suicide bombers?
What is the responsibility of the PPP-coalition government in the centre as well as in Sindh and other provinces? Is it fair to exonerate the PPP ministers while all they seem to care for is to save their own ministries and government even at the cost of thousands of innocent Balochs, Pashtuns and Shias killed every year by Pakistan army and its sponsored Jihadi-sectarian organizations?
Apparently, not every one in Pakistan government is an opportunist and compromised as some known ISI-touts are.
In Pakistan’s National Assembly session on Friday 3 February 2012, State Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Shaikh Waqas Akram of PML-Q boldly stated his concerns and objections on the undeterred activities of the DPC. Isn’t it shameful that a PML-Q Minister is taking a principled, bold stance on the DPC while all Rehman Malik and other ministers of the so called progressive PPP are doing is to offer lies and distracting tactics?
Here’s the news item which was reported in various Pakistani newspapers:
Waqas slams Malik for misleading cabinet on banned organisations
State Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Shaikh Waqas Akram on Friday severely criticised Interior Minister Rehman Malik for lying to the federal cabinet about the liberty given to banned outfits to hold public meetings across the country, especially in the federal capital, in the name of “Pakistan Defence Council”. Speaking on a point of order, the minister who himself was reportedly on the hit-list of banned group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, now active under a new name of Tanzeem Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, said lies by the interior minister in a cabinet meeting were a “shameful act”. “Though I am a minister, I want to register my protest in the House that the interior minister lied to me and the federal cabinet,” Akram said, adding that Malik had also told the cabinet that the provincial governments were violating the law by allowing banned outfits to hold public rallies and meetings.
He said the interior minister had also claimed that he would write a letter to provincial governments to get hold of these elements and a copy of the said letter had also been provided to him. “But I was stunned to read in the newspapers that the same outfits are holding a public meeting today in the federal capital. Now if the interior minister cannot stop the terrorists, why does he accuse the Punjab government? This is all shameful and it proves that talking about fighting war on terror is a drama. A government that can’t stop trivial terrorists cannot fight the war on terror,” the minister said.
Lashing out at the banned outfits, Akram said the banned militants fell under the fourth schedule and under law such persons could not go to any public place, let alone lead a public rally.
“Under the 1997 Act, anyone who even carries a flag of a banned outfit is to be arrested. What to talk about taking out rallies. I had pointed out during the recent cabinet meeting that banned outfits were being allowed to hold meetings but the law minister had assured to write to provincial governments for prompt action,” he added. Akram was well supported by PML-N MNA Sahibzada Fazal Karim who asked the government where its writ was, as it was being challenged by terrorists. He said people falling under the fourth schedule were making a mockery of the government’s rule.
“Sunni Ittehad was not allowed to hold a public meeting in Lahore but those who had killed around 40,000 Pakistanis were allowed to hold meeting in the city. If no action is taken against these outlaws, I fear there would be no writ of the government,” he added. He said the government should not allow the banned outfits to operate under new names.
Former religious affairs minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi said terrorists were arrested on a daily basis, but were released by courts as judges were threatened by these elements.
In Capital Talk (30 January 2012): MNA Sheikh Waqas and Hamid Mir admit that Difa-e-Pakisan is an ISI-sponsored platform for banned terrorist organizations.
In the light of the above, we ask Pakistan’s federal government to:
- Ban the Defence of Pakistan council, particularly in view of its composition (two banned organizations SSP and JuD being an integral part of the DPC), its hateful stance towards other countries e.g. Iran (the only neighbouring country with which we have relatively less sour relations), USA (the biggest donor and humanitarian aid provider), India (the most favoured nation) etc, and also towards other religions and sects (e.g., Christians, Jews, Hindus, Barelvis, Shias, Ahmadis etc);
- Stop the DPC from holding public rallies and corner meeting in any part of the country;
- Stop Hafiz Saeed, Ahmed Ludhianvi, Malik Ishaq and other known militants from appearing in and addressing public rallies and meetings;
- Inquire into the finances and accounts of the DPC and its constituent parties to reveal and stop the sources of their funding, take punitive action against the financiers;
- Register a legal reference or disqualification case against the Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif because he allowed the militant organizations to hold public rallies without any objection, enabling further hatred against Shias, Barelvis, Ahmadis, which resulted in the murder of at least 65 Shia Muslims across the country in the last six weeks, 34 of which were killed in Khanpur, Punjab on 14 January 2012.
- Examine and publicize the details of all of the cases of arrested SSP-LeJ-AWSJ militants, threats received by the judges and prosecutors, reasons for the dismissal of the cases, list of pending cases, acquittals and sentences etc;
- Legislate for Anti-Terrorist Summary Courts which are fully authorized as well as required to hear all of the Jihadi-sectarian terrorism cases and decide them within three months, award exemplary punishments including death sentence to convicted killers and master minds, and implement the death sentence within three months of the court decision. There must not be a gap of more than six months between the arrest of militants and the implementation of the death sentence.
Eqbal Alavi writes:
Under the Anti-Terrorism Amendment Ordinance 2009, the following major changes were brought about in the legal system for Anti Terrorism Courts:-
* The burden of proof has been shifted to the accused
* Extra judicial testimonies have become admissible in court
* Preventive detention upto 90 days (up from 30 days) that cannot be challenged (but detainee has to be produced before a presiding officer of the ATC or a District and Sessions Judge within 24 hrs)
Also, the investigating officer is bound to forward an interim report no later than 3 days after expiration of the 90 days remand. Sadly, this is a rosy legislative requirement hardly ever followed.
Although, Human rights group have complained that the new law will, and is, most definitely allowing gross human rights violations; the Federal Govt has deemed it necessary and it is in effect.
With such major changes, it should be impossible not to get a conviction if the alleged terrorist was infact arrested on credible grounds. The admissibility of evidence becomes a problem when it is collected illegally (and thus cannot be presented in court, thus making the case weaker), the intelligence agencies do not provide the police with all the evidence, when witnesses fail to testify and finally when the prosecution in unwilling to get a conviction (perhaps to kill extrajudicially and settle the matter once and for all).
Even with all this, if the law enforcement agencies can’t get a conviction, then they should bury their heads in shame.
Please refer to Huma Yusuf’s column for CTC Sentinel for further insight into the nature of the new anti terrorism legislation and current prosecutions.
The above account suggests that it is not so much the case of enough legal support but the lack of legal implementation and the probable influence of the ISI (the chief architect, mentor and protector of Jihadi-sectarian networks) which is resulting in increasing acquittals of Jihadi-sectarian militants. However, this still does not explain why the DPC, SSP-ASWJ, JuD are being allowed to freely organize public rallies in various parts of the country and why the federal government is taking no step to stop these mobile factories of hate speech.
His father was target killed by SSP-ASWJ terrorists in Karachi in December 2011. His only crime? He belonged to Shia sect of Islam.
Dawn News – Difa e Pakistan Ijlas, Karachi 11 Feb 12