FaithWorld

Hizb ut-Tahrir urges Pakistanis to take to the streets for Islamic rule

July 1, 2011

(A protester pokes his head through a banner during a demonstration by members of Hizb ut-Tahrir outside the Syrian embassy in central London, May 7, 2011/Andrew Winning)

Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global Islamist party banned in many Muslim states, said on Friday Pakistanis should take to the streets to call for Islamic rule and join a campaign to end subservience to Washington that was advancing “from Indonesia to Tunisia”.  The party, which says it is non-violent but is accused by some analysts of seeking a coup in Islamabad, added that “powerful factions” in Pakistani society including the military should also take part, but violence had no place in its work.

Hizb ut-Tahrir won international attention when Pakistan’s army said on June 22 it was questioning four majors about alleged links to the party, following the arrest in May of a brigadier suspected of having such ties. Brigadier Ali Khan, whose lawyer has denied the allegations, was the highest-ranking serving officer arrested in a decade. The Pakistan army is under pressure to remove Islamist sympathisers in its ranks after U.S. forces found and killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2.

In an interview, party spokesman Taji Mustafa said the party sought to emulate the creation of the first Islamic state in what is now Saudi Arabia by “winning public opinion in favour of Islam” through discussions, marches and rallies.

The party worked “to motivate all sections of society to express their determined will, such that they take to the streets and demand the Islamic Caliphate system.”

The party and its goal of an Islamic ruler, or Caliph, who implements sharia law posed no threat to Pakistan, said Mustafa, based in Britain, where the party is not banned.

“The threat to Pakistan comes from Zardari, Kayani and Gilani who support drone strikes that kill their own citizens, and who collude with a U.S.-led war of terror,” he said, referring to the president, army chief and prime minister.

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