JuD says Pakistan needs peace, prosperity

LAHORE (Reuters) - Over tea in Lahore with the spokesman of Jamaat-ud-Daawa, one subject dominates the conversation. Its not jihad, not Kashmir, but the economy. The first condition to bring peace in Pakistan is prosperity, said Muhammad Yahya Mujahid, spokesman for the JuD. Already people are being killed by price hikes. In such circumstances, we cant afford bomb blasts.It is an official line from an organisation blacklisted by the United Nations. Mujahid, who denies links with the LeT but was described in a UN blacklist as the head of the LeTs media department with an influential role in its central leadership, said Pakistan must find a way to end the frequent gun and bomb attacks. We believe security agencies of Pakistan should control the situation through any means, through negotiations, or any means. It is their duty to find a way for peace and, whatever they think is proper to keep peace in Pakistan, they should do it. With growth forecast this year at just 2.4 percent, the inflation is running at 14 percent and likely to rise further with increasing oil prices. Mujahid picked up that theme, echoing a complaint frequently made by Pakistanis when he bemoaned the growing energy crisis: You get electricity and petrol cheaper in western societies. People are looking for basics - transport, electricity. The JuD has always stressed the need to help the poor. It runs schools, hospitals, ambulances and dispensaries and argues like many other religious groups that a Muslim society purged of modern evils, from corruption to music, would be both fairer and stronger. We believe in preaching through welfare, said Mujahid. Pakistan should be a welfare state where people could get every basic necessity of life easily. Mujahid was insistent that the JuD and its leader, Hafez Saeed, no longer had links to the LeT. It is highly deplorable that people in the media still call me a spokesman of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, he said.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt