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article imageHafiz Saeed: 'Osama's death is the beginning of America's defeat'

By Joseph Zulu     May 15, 2011 in Politics
Islamabad - "Osama's death is the beginning of America's defeat." These were the words of Hafiz Saeed, the leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa who called bin Laden a martyr and demanded the Pakistani government break ties with the U.S. for killing him.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa is believed to be a front for the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, suspected of having carried out series of attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 killing 166 people.
At least 4000 suspected militants gathered at a rally in the Pakistan city of Lahore on Sunday in support of Bin Laden and listened to Saeed, a prominent hard-line Islamists, CNS News reported.
Surrounded by several bearded gunmen Saeed said there was no justification for Pakistan maintaining relations with the US after what he referred to as “aggression against Pakistan”.
Saeed called for Pakistan’s civilian leaders to give the military permission to shoot down U.S. drones, and called on Muslims all over the world to "stand up against America."
"Now is the start of a battle between Islam and infidels," said Saeed.
US senator, John Kerry visited Pakistan on Sunday and his trip came amid growing condemnation of the US raid by Pakistan leaders, Military officials, Parliament and hardliners.
Kerry was reported as having said that the US relationship with Pakistan was at a “critical moment” because of the Killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
He added that there was great concern to cut ties with that country.
Kerry who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said that although Pakistan had in the past sacrificed much in the battle against al-Qaeda and its own domestic Islamic insurgency, the killing of bin Laden near the capital had raised questions.
Some US officials were critical of the Pakistan's security forces for what was described as giving him (bin Laden) protection.
Kerry met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, his Cabinet and U.S. military officials.
He said that “this is a critical moment in terms of the relationship with Pakistan” saying it was “fair to say some of my colleagues in the house and Senate have deep reservations about whether or not Pakistan is committed to the same goals, or are prepared to be a full partner in pursuing those goals.”
Kerry commended Pakistan for helping track bin Laden but also said he was concerned about of their actions.
He added he was briefed on Taliban and insurgent safe havens just across the frontier mostly in the province of North Waziristan and the safe havens are used to launch attacks on American, coalition and Afghan troops.
Kerry said there is evidence of Pakistan government knowledge of some of these activities in ways that is disturbing adding that this would be without any question one of the subjects of conversation.
According to Voice of America, Kerry held talks with some of the 130 000 troops stationed in the country including the Afghan President.
His trip to Pakistan was not announced earlier due to security reasons.
The bin Laden’s killing this month in a military town in Pakistan has generated perhaps the most important crossroads yet, the Telegraph reported.
“We are at a moment where we have to resolve some very serious issues,” Kerry said. “This is not a moment for anything except very sober, serious discussion with an understanding that there’s a lot at stake. There’s no other way to put it.”
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