Pakistan PM cornered over ‘graft’ and Kashmir situation

There’s more trouble brewing at home for Pakistan’s beleaguered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.While the Imran Khan-led opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has threatened an ‘Occupy Islamabad’ sit-in over alleged money-laundering by the Sharif family, a coalition of religious and political outfits called Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) plans to organise protests in the nation’s capital against alleged “Indian atrocities” in Jammu & Kashmir. PTI’s “lockdown” of Islamabad is scheduled for November 2, while DPC – which is spearheaded by the 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) – has announced rallies in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad (POK) on October 27 and 28. DPC’s call came despite a raging controversy in Pakistan over the public activities of terrorist organisations. Earlier this month, a whistle-blower report in the daily ‘Dawn’ unearthed the showdown between Pakistan’s civilian and military leaderships over the nation’s failure to act against militant outfits engaged in activities against India and Afghanistan. According to the October 6 report, the Sharif government had told the military brass that their support for jihadis and their outfits had isolated the country internationally.
JuD spokesperson Asif Khurshed confirmed the DPC demonstrations. “We will take formal permission for the rallies from the Islamabad district administration a week before they are scheduled,” he was quoted as saying by a local daily. He said DPC had not received any instruction from the government about their public gatherings being either cancelled or postponed in the wake of the Dawn report. Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi, the chief of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ), another prominent DPC member, told the media that they had always stood for the “protection of Pakistan’s sovereignty”. “Protecting the country’s sovereignty is not a crime,” he added.
According to Ludhianvi, the DPC started operations after the US Navy SEALs “violated Pakistan’s sovereignty” to kill al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden at Abbottabad in 2011,
and a Nato strike on a Pakistani military post in the Khyber tribal region killed 24 soldiers the same year. “When the country faced external threats, the religious groups stood with the army,” he said.
PTI has warned that their sit-in would continue until Sharif stepped down or took responsibility for the Panama Papers “revelations”.

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