Pakistani government demands U.S. apologise for strike on Jihad HQ which killed terrorists they were hosting
Pakistanis protest strikes on terrorists and call for "Death to America !"
MIM: The caption fails to note that the MMA intitials on the sign the man is holding is are of a party which supports Al Qaeda and the Taliban, whose members were killed in the airstrike.
"...Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (moo ta HEE da MAJ lees eh AH mal), the United Action Front, is an alliance initially headed by Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani, leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan – the political representative of the Barelvi school of Sunni Muslims.
Its leaders are strongly opposed to the US-led anti-terrorism campaign in neighboring Afghanistan that ousted the Taleban from power. The group believed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had become a tool of US foreign policy. The MMA campaigned on promises to enforce Sharia law and in support of the withdrawal of US forces based in Pakistan in the campaign against international terrorism.
The MMA is an alliance composed of 4 powerful religious parties: Jamaat Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (S), and Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (N)..."
"...The MMA has the most direct appeal of all the parties. Prior to August 2002, it venomously attacked the Musharraf government for having betrayed the Taliban and sided with the US in its supposed ‘war against Islam'. They reject any change to the Kashmir policy and have emerged as the only outright supporter of the Kashmir ‘jihad'. They attack the presence of the American troops and agencies on Pakistani soil and speak in favour of the militant groups banned by the Musharraf government. Leaders under the MMA umbrella have issued fatwas of death on Americans and have denied the 9/11 attack by Osama bin Laden. The four parties are opposed to the present fiscal system and want it Islamised together with a complete enforcement of ‘shariah'. All of them are pathologically opposed to America as a world power and its ‘handmaiden', the IMF, and want Pakistan's foreign policy turned around.
At the verbal level, MMA is closest to the minds of the Pakistani people..."
For more on the pro Taliban MMA which also enjoys the support of ex cricketeer millionaire playboy Imran Khan and his Tehreek Al Insaaf party who tried to for an alliance for a public movement with them. (see article below)
Pakistan demands U.S. apology for attack
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Pakistan's ruling party Monday demanded an apology for an alleged CIA airstrike that killed at least 17 people, but the country's prime minister said his trip to the United States this week would go ahead as planned.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q on Monday condemned the alleged U.S. airstrike on a village near the Afghan border, which intelligence officials have said targeted Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri
But Aziz said he was still scheduled to leave today for the United States, where he said he would talk about security issues and also meet business leaders to encourage foreign investment.
The leader called Friday's airstrike on a village near the Afghan border "very regrettable" but said, "I don't think that takes away from the fact that Pakistan needs investment."
Islamist groups, meanwhile, vowed to step up anti-American protests.
Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, was invited to an Islamic dinner in the village but did not show up, two Pakistani officials told the Associated Press.
Zawahiri sent aides to the dinner instead, and investigators were trying to determine if they had been in any of the three houses destroyed in the missile strike, one of the officials said Sunday.
In Washington, D.C., a U.S counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the information's sensitivity, said the compound that was hit has been visited in the past by significant terrorist figures. "There were strong indications that was happening again," the official said.
With media reports out of Pakistan indicating that at least four foreigners were killed, the official said it appears that some damage was done, even if Zawahiri was not there. "This place had a history," the official said.
Islamist groups held nationwide protests Sunday as anger mounted over the attack that Pakistan said killed innocent civilians.
"There will be more . . . bigger protests," Shahid Shamsi, a spokesman for the anti-American religious coalition that organized the rallies, said Monday.
Protesters believe the airstrike was ordered by the CIA and was launched by U.S. forces pursuing Taliban and Al-Qaida militants in neighboring Afghanistan, and Shamsi said the war on terror should not extend across borders without permission.
"Pakistani civilians, including children, were killed," Shamsi said. "Principles cannot be broken in the name" of fighting terrorism.
In the first comments about the attack from a top U.S. official, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that serious action was needed against Al-Qaida.
"These are not people who can be dealt with lightly," Rice said.
Many in Pakistan, a nation of 150 million people, oppose the government's participation in the U.S.-led war against international terrorist groups, and there is increasing frustration over a recent series of suspected U.S. attacks along the frontier aimed at militants.
Thousands of Pakistanis rally against airstrike
Islamic groups yesterday vowed to step up anti-US protests in Pakistan over an alleged CIA airstrike on a border village, as intelligence officials said al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader was supposed to be in the village for an Islamic holiday when it was struck.
Ayman al-Zawahri, Osamba bin Laden's top lieutenant, was invited to an Islamic dinner in the village near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan but did not show up -- which could explain why Friday's pre-dawn attack missed its apparent target, two Pakistani officials said.
Al-Zawahri sent some aides to the dinner instead, and investigators were trying to determine whether they had been in any of the three houses that were destroyed in the missile strike that killed at least 17 people, one of the officials said on Sunday.
The Islamic groups held nationwide protests on Sunday, as anger mounted over the attack that Pakistan said killed innocent civilians while al-Zawahri was not even there. The anti-US religious coalition that organized the rallies promised more of them.
"There will be more ... bigger protests," alliance spokesman Shahid Shamsi said yesterday.
across the coutnry
Some 10,000 people rallied on Sunday in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, chanting "Death to America" and "Stop bombing against innocent people."
Hundreds massed in the capital, Islamabad, and in Lahore, Multan and Peshawar burning US flags and demanding the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
Protesters believe the airstrike was ordered by the CIA and launched by US forces who are pursuing Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in neighboring Afghanistan, and Shamsi said the war on terror should not extend across borders without permission.
"Pakistani civilians, including children, were killed," Shamsi said.
"Principles cannot be broken in the name of [fighting] terrorism," he added.
The White House declined to comment on Sunday, and officials at several US agencies have not provided details about the attack. But Republican Senator John McCain and other US lawmakers defended it on Sunday.
"We apologize, but I can't tell you that we wouldn't do the same thing again" in going after Ayman al-Zawahri, McCain said.
"We have to do what we think is necessary to take out al-Qaeda, particularly the top operatives. This guy has been more visible than Osama bin Laden lately," McCain told CBS.
Pakistani officials have strongly condemned the strike on the ethnic Pashtun hamlet of Damadola, about 7km from the border with Afghanistan.
A senior army official said on Sunday that "foreigners" were reported in the area around Damadola, which is 6km from the Afghanistan border, but he said there was no information al-Zawahri was among them.
Many in this nation of 150 million people oppose the government's participation in the US-led war against international terrorist groups, and there is increasing frustration over a recent series of suspected US attacks along the frontier aimed at militants.
A large number of al-Qaeda and Taliban combatants, including al-Zawahri and bin Laden, are believed to have taken refuge in the rugged mountains along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But Pakistani officials insist they do not allow the 20,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan to cross the border in the hunt for Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.
Survivors in Damadola denied militants were there, but some news reports quoted unidentified Pakistani officials as saying up to 11 extremists were believed among the dead.
PTI, MMA and PML-N for unity between opposition parties
* No semblance of law and order in Pakistan, says Imran
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI), the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have called for unity between opposition parties for the restoration of democracy and the Constitution in the country.
This was agreed in a meeting between the top leadership of the PTI, the MMA, and the PML-N in Islamabad on Wednesday morning.
The meeting was held at the initiative of Imran Khan, PTI chairman, and was attended by Qazi Hussain Ahmed, MMA president and amir Jamaat-e-Islami, and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of the PML-N. Akbar S Babar, PTI central information secretary, was also present in the meeting.
The three leaders discussed the political situation in the country and decided to launch a decisive public movement against dictatorship and a fake political system in the country.
The leaders said the present parliament had been made redundant as it had no powers to resolve people's problems.
The leaders hoped the MMA and the Alliance for the Restoration for Democracy (ARD) would agree to launch a joint movement against Gen Pervez Musharraf's rule.
Reacting to the increasing acts of violence in various parts of the country including the murder at the Bari Imam shrine in Islamabad on Tuesday afternoon, Imran Khan said the country was being led down a dark alley of uncertainty.
Nobody was safe even in the federal capital, he said, adding that the insurgency was growing with daily acts of sabotage in Balochistan.
Gilgit and Skardu had remained under curfew for extended periods of time. The Tribal Aareas continued to simmer with acts of violence, he said.
Imran Khan thanked the PML-N and MMA leaders for their positive response to his efforts for forging unity between opposition parties. online