A local chapter of Pakistan's Jamat-e-Islami (JI) party has called for a nationwide protest against the United States' special-forces operation that resulted in the death of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. RFE/RL's Khalid Khan interviewed JI's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's chief, Professor Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, in Peshawar.
Muhammad Ibrahim Khan: We believe the American action is against international as well as Pakistani laws. This operation, without the approval of Pakistan's government, is a serious crime on the part of the United States. If the Pakistani government and army, as they say, were not informed, that is another crime. And, even if the government and army were informed by the U.S., it is again a crime on the part of the Pakistan government and army. We condemn this and we appeal the people to come out for countrywide protests on Friday [May 6].
RFE/RL: Do you believe Osama bin Laden was inside a city like Abbottabad, Pakistan?
Khan: The United States claim this, but they did not provide any proof so far. I can't reject the U.S. claim as I don't have any proof. But I will certainly need some proof to believe it. Equally unbelievable is the statement that the body [of Osama bin Laden] was thrown into sea after proper Islamic rituals. Secondly, the United States has been claiming Osama [bin Laden] is their enemy No.1. Now that he is dead, there is no point for the U.S. to stay in Afghanistan any more. They should leave the country."
RFE/RL: Why have the army and ISI leadership been silent about this incident?
Khan: The fact is that our nuclear installations are also now under threat. If the U.S. can come into Abbottabad and can jam our radar system, then they can do the same to our nuclear installations. This is the responsibility of the army, ISI, and the government to respond to all such questions. And if they don't respond to the questions, their silence is criminal and must be condemned.
RFE/RL: Will other religious parties join the protest demonstration?
Khan: We invite everyone to join this protest demonstration. Now it is their decision to join it or not.