LAHORE - Protest demonstrations were staged countrywide on Friday against US President Donald Trump’s remarks against Pakistan, on the call of Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC).

Protests were staged in all four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and thousands of people took part in them. In Lahore, the DPC rally started from Choburji Chowk and reached the American Consulate via Qurtaba Chowk, Jail Road, Shadman, China Chowk, Governor’s House, Davis Road and Press Club. A large number of people staged a sit-in in front of the American Consulate and raised slogans against Trump. They demanded that the Pakistani government cut off diplomatic relations with the United States and the foreign minister cancel the planned US visit. They called for suspension of India-Afghan transit trade and boycott of American and Indian products at the state level. They said they would stage sit-ins across the country if their demands were not met. A public meeting was also arranged on this occasion that was addressed by various speakers.

DPC leader Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki demanded that the government summon the US ambassador to Foreign Office and convey him nation’s sentiments. He asked the government to get rid of fake US loans. He said: “Pakistan is a peaceful country. We do not want war but when the US president will challenge our sovereignty, every Pakistani will be ready to fight till death for integrity of the country.” He said the US was sponsoring terrorists and spreading weapons in the world.

Head of Jamiat Ahle Hadith Allama Ibtisam Ellahi Zaheer said that Pakistani ‘ababeel’ would destroy US ‘elephants’. He said, “We are followers of Hazrat Talha, Zubair, Khalid bin Waleed, Tariq bin Ziyad and Muhammad bin Qasim.”

President of Milli Muslim League (MML) Saifullah Khalid asked the prime minister to convene an All Parties Conference (APC) immediately and invite all politico-religious parties to it. He said the APC should have US threats alone on its agenda.

Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hafiz Sajid Anwar, central leaders of Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) Allama Hasan Hamdani and Abuzar Mahdi, head of JuD Lahore Abul Hashim Rabbani, central leader of Muttahida Jamiat Ahle Hadith (MJA) Sheikh Naeem Badshah, leader of MJA Syed Usama Shah Bukhari, Maulana Idrees Farouqi and others also addressed the demonstrators.

Protests were also staged in various cities. In Islamabad, the DPC arranged a demonstration against US threats at I-8 Markaz. A large number of people joined the demonstration. Central leader of DPC Haji Muhammad Ashraf, Vice President of JI Mian Muhammad Aslam, head of JuD Islamabad Shafiqul Rehman, President of Traders Union Ajmal Baloch, leader of PML-N Sajid Abbasi, General Secretary of Muttahida Tehreek Islami Allama Saleed Haider and others spoke.