LAHORE – Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed thinks that Pakistan is in a state of war surrounded by armed enemies from the east and the west who want to separate Balochistan to have access to the Gwadar Port and to deprive it of its nuclear arsenals.“Pakistan should take a firm stand on all issues of national importance and tell the Indians as wells as Americans in unequivocal terms that it will not take any decision against its national interest”, he said in an exclusive interview to Waqt News and TheNation conducted by Editor TheNation Salim Bokhari for his current affairs programme, ‘Insight’. Hafiz Saeed said Pakistan was facing a difficult situation at the moment and it was time that it should formulate a firm stance keeping in view its national interests, adding that Pakistan was an atomic power and should not adopt defensive posture on matters of its defence and security.He stressed the government to settle its affairs with the US in a cautious manner because it was playing into Indians hands at the moment. Hafiz said the announcement by the US regarding head money on him had acted as a catalyst to unite the nation. He also thanked the government for standing firm against Indian and US pressure to arrest and prosecute him.He said it was encouraging to see that the entire nation including political and military leadership was on the same page on the issue. Saeed believed that the US attack on Afghanistan after 9/11 was actually a declaration of crusade against the Muslims and said the US military engagements across the word were directed against Muslims whether it was Iraq and Afghanistan or Somalia and Sudan in the African continent.He said the US had conspired against the entire Muslim by staging the 9/11 drama.On granting of MFN status to India, he said it was an attempt to cripple the country’s defence, economy and agriculture sector. “It is irony of fate that India was trying to sell cheap electricity to Pakistan which has been generated by stopping Pakistan’s waters”.He opined that Pakistan would lose its case in the international court of arbitration about illegal construction of dams on rivers emanating from Kashmir after purchasing electricity from India.He was of the view that the issue of trade with India should not be seen in isolation of country’s defence, which, he believed was at stake as a result of opening of trade with India.Hafiz said an attempt was being made to make Pakistan a market for Indian goods at the cost of Pakistan’s industry and agriculture which would ultimately weaken its defence vis-a-vis India.“If we are in a state of war, it is not fought with weapons alone. Trade and economy is also used as a weapon to defeat the enemy country”, he warned the government.The Dawa leader also opposed giving transit facility to India to trade with Afghanistan, saying Pakistan was not formed to facilitate Indian trade with other countries.On Palestine and Kashmir, he said the United States was equally responsible for the brutalities on Palestinians and the Kashmiris, adding that it was pursuing the same policy in case of Kashmir and Palestine.He said the US was under self-deception and trying to deceive other countries as well on its anti-Muslim policies.The JuD chief said Israel first used America against Palestinians and now it was using it against Pakistan to suppress Kashmiris’ struggle for their right to self-determination. “The US is playing in Indian hands”, he said.On Balochistan, he said the US had its eyes on Gwadar Port and wanted to get access to the Central Asian States through it; it was the reason why it encouraged a handful of miscreants to separate Balochistan from Pakistan.He said tabling of a resolution in the US Congress seeking separate status for Balochistan was ample proof of its involvement in the province.He negated the impression that there was no separatist movement in Balochistan and termed these reports a mere propaganda by the US and India.“I have visited the province many a time and have also talked to Baloch political organisations and the general public. They want to live within the constitutional framework of Pakistan,” he observed.Foreign elements (US and India) were, however, using a few miscreants there who are fanning separatist movement under the influence of the two countries, he added.He said the government should talk to all Baloch political organisations, including tribal chieftains, to set the things right in that province. “They are staunch Muslims,” he added.He said the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) was organising a conference on Balochistan on April 26 to find solution to the problem faced by Balochs.Hafiz said he was not part of any armed movement, but in case the country came under any threat he and his organisation would adopt any means to defend their motherland.He said he believed in using public pressure as a weapon to create awareness among the people about nefarious designs of the USA, India and Israel.“Though war and gun power is not a solution to the issue, but it is all the more important to utilise peoples’ power to undo anti-Pakistan agenda of foreign powers”, he remarked.He said the DPC was building public pressure against the US and this was the reason the Americans had turned against him. He said the US was also annoyed with him for his support to freedom movement in Kashmir.