LAHORE - Jamaatud Dawa yesterday organised countrywide protests against Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s statement about Hafiz Saeed and warned to hold long march if the detained party chief was not released within days.

A statement issued by JuD said large number of JuD workers participated in protests held in different cities and expressed their feelings of anger over the defence minister’s remark, demanding his resignation.

The defence minister had said Hafiz Saaed can pose a serious threat to society while addressing a security conference in Munich, Germany a couple of days ago.

In Lahore, demonstration was held at Choburji Chowk. Followers of Hafiz Saeed belonging to students, lawyers and traders community also joined the demonstration. Participants carried banners and placards containing text “Hafiz Saeed --- Pakistan’s defender, Mian Modi friendship --- Unacceptable”, should anti-government slogans and demanded immediate release of their chief.

Addressing to demonstration, JuD leader Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki warned to hold a long march towards Islamabad if Hafiz Saeed was not releases. He said that external forces were conspiring to spread provocation in peaceful workers of JuD. “Statement of some ministers is part of the agenda. Any worker of JuD had never plucked a single leaf and always approached the courts,” he said.

JuD leader said that they did not want provocation in country as they always condemned terrorism and tried to create an atmosphere of unity and solidarity in the country. Convener Tehreek e Hurmat e Rasool Maulana Ameer Hamza said that Khawaja Asif was defence minister but speaking for India.

JuD leader Hafiz Masood said that Khawaja Asif’s statement was very disappointing. Hafiz Talha Saeed, Head JuD Lahore Abul Hashim Rabbani, Secretary General Tehreek Azadi Jammu Kashmir (TAJK) Hafiz Khalid Waleed, Maulana Idrees Farooqi, Usman Shafiq and others also spoke to the demonstration.

In Sialkot, JuD held protest at Allama Iqbal Chowk. JuD Sialkot head Maulana Ramzan Manzoor, Ameer Jamaat e Islami (JI) Shakeel Akhtar, PTI leader Umar Farooq, Head PSF Gujranwala region Faisal Gujar, ex MPA Arshad Bhaggu and others addressed to protest.

In Islamabad, a demonstration was held in front of National Press Club. Large number of people participated. Indian and US flags were burned at the end of demonstration. President Anjuman Taajran Ajmal Baloch, Leader Anjuman Taajran Kashif Choudhry, Joint Secretary Islamabad Imran Khan and others spoke to demonstration.

In Karachi, JuD held protest outside Press Club. Doctor Muzammal Iqbal Hashmi and others addressed.

In Multan, big demonstration was held at Chowk Nawan Shahar. Regional Head JuD Abu Muaaz Imran, District Head JuD Mian Sohail Ahmad addressed.

In Gujranwala, a rally was arranged from Markaz Umm ul Qura Nigar Phatic to Shairanwala Bagh. Head JuD Gujranwala Ihsanullah led the rally.

In Faisalabad, JuD held protest at District Council Chowk. Protest was led by District Head JuD Fayyaz Ahmad.

Demonstrations were also held in Kasur, Hyderabad, Bahawalnagar, Quetta, Peshawar, Muzaffarabad, Kotli and Rawla Kot among four provinces and Azad Kashmir, according to JuD’s statement.