Hizb ut-Tahrir set for coup in Pakistan

July 6, 2009 at 2:51 PM

LAHORE, Pakistan, July 6 (UPI) -- Loyalists of the Hizb ut-Tahrir political movement are calling for a coup in Islamabad to establish an Islamic caliphate, by force if necessary.

Imran Yousafzai, a spokesman for the group, claims to have organized mass demonstrations insisting the people in the tribal regions of Pakistan favor Islamic law.

Though the group claims to favor peaceful opposition over militancy, members of its ranks say jihad is justified to oppose foreign occupation, noting only an Islamic army can wage a necessary holy war.

Members of the group based in Lahore told The Times of London newspaper that Hizb ut-Tahrir was preparing for a "bloodless military coup" in order to indoctrinate the region by "military means" if necessary.

Tayyib Muqeem, who the Times reports is a Hizb ut-Tahrir leader in Lahore, said the group was prepared to bring the Islamic caliphate to power by "waging war."

He said the group sought to influence Pakistani military officials to push the movement forward, adding it was the Pakistani armed forces who held power in Islamabad, not the Western-backed government.

Hizb ut-Tahrir emerged in 1952 as a political movement bent on establishing an Islamic caliphate in Pakistan. It is one of the few political movements in Pakistan that expressed open opposition to attacks on the Taliban.

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