Pakistani army enraged by Islamist's comment

2013-11-11 08:54
The child of a supporter of Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC), holds a toy gun during a protest against the US drone strikes. (A Majeed, AFP)

The child of a supporter of Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC), holds a toy gun during a protest against the US drone strikes. (A Majeed, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Islamabad - The Pakistan army on Sunday demanded an unconditional apology from an Islamist leader for calling a dead militant a "martyr", saying his remarks "hurt the feelings" of the families of those who died fighting for their country.

The leader of the main Jamaat-e-Islami party, Syed Munawar Hassan, sparked controversy by terming slain Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud (killed by a US drone) a "martyr" in a recent television programme.

He also said that Pakistani troops who died in gun-battles with Taliban militants were not martyrs because they sided with the United States.

"The person of Pakistan, who’s loved ones, laid down their life while fighting the terrorists, and families of shuhada (martyrs) of the armed forces demand an unconditional apology from Syed Munawar Hassan for hurting their feelings," a military spokesperson said in a statement.

"It is also expected that Jamat-e-Islami should clearly state its party position on the subject."

The spokesperson "strongly condemned the irresponsible and misleading remarks" by Hassan, and said that he "insulted" the martyrdom of thousands of innocent Pakistanis and soldiers.


"Syed Munawar Hassan has tried to invent a logic based on his political convenience. Strong condemnation of his views from an overwhelming majority leaves no doubt in any one's mind that all of us are very clear on what the state of Pakistan is and who its enemies are," he said.

Neither Hassan nor his party spokesperson were immediately available for comment.

Another top Islamist, chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party Maulana Fazalur Rehman, also created ripples in a separate television programme by saying that he considered even a dog a martyr if it was killed in a US drone attack.

Islamabad condemns drone strikes as a violation of sovereignty, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged President Barack Obama to end them during White House talks last week.

But analysts say Sharif's ability to issue demands to Washington are constrained by the fact the US last month agreed to release around $1.6bn in aid.

In addition, Pakistan has just embarked on a new $6.7bn International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package with support from Washington.

Mehsud's death last Friday was the third major blow struck against the TTP by the US this year, following the killing of number two Waliur Rehman in a drone strike in May and the capture of another senior lieutenant in Afghanistan last month.

On Thursday, the TTP named its new leader as hard-line cleric Maulana Fazlullah, known for leading the Taliban's bloody two-year rule in Swat Valley and for links to the shooting of schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai.

Pakistan is a frontline state in the US and Nato-led fight against militants in Afghanistan.

It says more than 40 000 people have been killed in Pakistan by Taliban and al-Qaeda-led militants, who oppose Islamabad's US alliance.

Read more on:    taliban  |  imf  |  al-qaeda  |  nawaz sharif  |  barack obama  |  us  |  pakistan  |  security  |  war

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.