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WASHINGTON – Amid cries that “Pakistan is not an American colony,” demonstrators organized by a new Islamist militant group in Pakistan, the Difa-e-Pakistan, or DPC, have staged violent protests over the recent burning of the Quran at a U.S. military base in neighboring Afghanistan, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The Difa-e-Pakistan is a coalition of more than 40 conservative religious parties that promises to pit the government against the Pakistani military, which not only created but supports the various Islamist militant groups who act as its proxy.
The DPC was formed last November after an airstrike by coalition forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, inadvertently killed some 24 Pakistani troops at a base along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
After the U.S. killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, last May without telling Pakistani officials, the Difa-e-Pakistan organized numerous anti-American demonstrations in major cities to protest what was condemned as U.S. interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs.
With what appears to be the military’s acquiescence, the DPC is considered by regional analysts as a legal cover for a number of banned militant and terrorist groups. Indeed, the former head of the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, Hamid Gul, who attended one of the recent DPC demonstrations, suggested implicit ISI support for the DPC.
One of the members of DPC, the Jaamat-ud-Dawa, is among the 40 groups that comprise the DPC and it is believed to be linked to the Islamist militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, which allegedly carried out the November 2008 bombings in Mumbai, India, killing more than 160 people.
Analysts believe that the rise of the DPC is indicative of the further souring of U.S.-Pakistani relations. Expected to emerge is a more radical, hardline Islamic surge in the country. The increasingly poor relations between Washington and Islamabad most likely will mean a rise in Islamist militant groups, backed by the Pakistani military.
With military backing of the Islamist militant groups, regional analysts also are increasingly concerned that the military may increase its power and influence and ultimately stage a coup to control the Pakistani government in the months ahead.
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