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JuD vows to turn Pakistan into "Taliban state"

world Updated: Nov 30, 2011 15:27 IST

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Spewing venom, leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, a banned group blamed for the Mumbai attacks, have vowed to convert Pakistan into a "Taliban state" and to train youths to wage jihad against the US and India.

Addressing a protest meet outside the Lahore Press Club on Tuesday against the recent NATO strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, senior JuD leader Ameer Hamza said the Pakistan Army chief should know he had the full support of the group, which would turn its followers into skilled fighters.

"JuD will make all of its fighters into Taliban. There will be Taliban in Punjab University, in Government College, in Agriculture University Faisalabad," Hamza said, referring to several leading educational institutions of Punjab province.

Hamza demanded that the government "kick" the US out of not just Shamsi airbase but Shahbaz airbase as well, failing which the JuD would throw out the Americans.

JuD leader Abdul Rehman Makki said people should take revenge on Americans.

"We will kill Americans," he said, adding the JuD had trained "hundreds of thousands" of people for jihad.

He claimed the NATO attack on the Pakistani border posts was intentional and an act of war against Pakistan.

Makki claimed US forces had carried out more than 30 attacks on Pakistan.

"If the government does not get revenge from the US, we will", he said.

Pakistan should withdraw from the US-led war against terrorism, he added.

Makki also accused the media of spreading propaganda against Islam and jihad and in favour of the US.

JuD leader Saifullah Mansoor, who also addressed the protest, said the group would kill Americans.

"Thousands of fighters are ready and waiting for a call from our leader Hafiz Saeed", he said.

The JuD, blamed for masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, has been spearheading protests in cities across Pakistan against the NATO air strike on two Pakistani border posts that killed 24 soldiers.

At most of these protests, the group's leaders have criticised the Pakistan government for its move to give India Most Favoured Nation-status to boost trade.

JuD activists and school children as young as 10 years participated in the protest outside the Lahore Press Club that was organised by the group's students' wing.

Abdullah Gul, son of former ISI chief Hameed Gul, too addressed the protest and said it was time to "complete the revolution".

He said the people of Pakistan "aspired to wage jihad and it was time to take up the sword".