It appears that Musharraf’s recent book-tour attempts to present himself as only a reluctant anti-jihadist have not mollified the Islamic hardliners in Pakistan. “Pakistan Islamists slam Musharraf, US in Eid sermons,” from AFP, :
ISLAMABAD – President Pervez Musharraf led millions of Pakistanis in prayer on the Muslim holiday of Eid Al Fitr Wednesday, amid calls by Islamic hardliners for his ousting and for the defeat of the United States.
Security was heavy from the capital Islamabad to the southern port city of Karachi as people flocked to mosques and open air services, with thousands of extra police guarding places of worship and commercial areas.
Musharraf and senior officials offered prayers at the giant Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, where he later mixed with the congregation, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan said.
In a message issued on the eve of Eid, Musharraf urged Pakistanis to counter terrorists and the “misleading propaganda of those possessing negative tendencies”.
But leading Islamist politician Qazi Hussain Ahmad used his Eid sermon to thousands of people in the eastern city of Lahore to oppose American policies and Musharraf’s support of the US since 2001.
“America and its allies will face defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan…. We will take back our land from American agents,” Ahmad said at the Mansoora complex of his Jamaat-e-Islami fundamentalist party.
Ahmad also said an alleged US threat to bomb Pakistan “back to the Stone Age” unless it backed the invasion of Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks was itself “a threat amounting to terrorism”.
Musharraf said in his memoirs published last month that former deputy US secretary of state Richard Armitage gave the warning to Pakistan’s then-head of intelligence in September 2001. Armitage denies the claim.
Meanwhile the founder of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba Kashmiri militant group, Hafez Mohammad Saeed, called in a separate sermon for “holy war” against anyone who showed aggression towards Islam.
Aggression against Islam, of course, being any defense against the global jihad.