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'Khawaja Asif a mouthpiece of India': Pak Defence Min under fire for attacking Hafiz Saeed

| Updated: Feb 22, 2017 13:40 IST

Lahore [Pakistan], Feb. 22 (ANI): With Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif branding Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed as a "threat to the society", several political and religious leaders across Islamabad have lashed out at him, accusing him of becoming the 'mouthpiece' of India. According to The News International, the leaders strongly feel that Hafiz Saeed is a patriotic leader of the country, and the Defence Minister's statement was completely unwarranted. Defence of Pakistan Council Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq, Shah Zain Bugti, Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan, Liaquat Baloch, Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani, Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Sardar Latif Ahmad Khosa and Senator Hafiz Hamdullah, Jamshed Ahmad Dasti were some of the leaders who came down heavily on Asif. Maulana Samiul Haq even went on to say that Asif must have raised in Germany, while Shah Zain Bugti said that Hafiz Saeed's detention had weakened Kashmiris struggle. Former prime minister Azad Kashmir Sardar Muhammad Attique asserted that government functionaries like Asif were issuing media statements with the sole intention to appease India, and echoing similar sentiments, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Liaquat Baloch said the defence minister has lost control over his tongue, no matter he was inside the country or abroad. Meanwhile, Jamaatud Dawa announced holding protest rallies across country on Tuesday against Asif's statement in Germany. A spokesperson said protest demonstrations would be held in all big cities and towns of the country against the statement, while demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif take notice of the statement. In an ongoing crackdown against Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan has further intensified its operations against him by cancelling licenses of 44 weapons issued to Saeed and other members of his organisations, citing security reasons. Earlier, Pakistan's Defence Minister openly acknowledged at an international security conference in Munich, Germany that Saeed posed a 'serious threat' to the nation and was thus placed under house arrest in the country's 'larger interest'. "Saeed can pose a serious threat to the society. He was arrested in the larger interest of the country," he said. (ANI)