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Fundamentals of change - The Indian Express

Associated Press ()
October 26, 1998

Title: Fundamentals of change
Author: Associated Press
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: October 26, 1998

Introduction: A 3-day conference of the Right-wing Jamaat-e-
Islami party ends with a pledge to fight for an Islamic
revolution in Pakistan and bring about radical social changes by
boycotting all things Western - and Indian

Thousands of chanting supporters of an orthodox Islamic party
vowed today to boycott Western food products and food chains in
a bid to fight the influence of Western culture in Pakistan,
where they are demanding a purely Islamic society.

an we live without Pepsi, Coke and Fanta?.... Are they so
essential for us?" Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the chief of Jamaat-e-
Islami, asked thousands of his supporters gathered outside the
white marble Faisal Mosque on the final day of a three-day

The Jamaat-e-Islami, or the Islamic Party, held its meeting to
mobilise people for the enforcement of a "true Islamic system"
in the country based on the teachings of the Koran.

"I have not sipped a drop of these drinks since Pakistan
conducted nuclear tests. I ask you to boycott Pepsi, Coke and
Fanta... They are now forbidden for us," Ahmed said and his
followers responded with loud shouts of approval. He also
rallied against fast food outlets, like the United States-based
McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken. McDonald's opened its
first restaurant in the eastern Punjab capital of Lahore last
month and the fried chicken franchise has several restaurants in
the southern port city of Karachi.

The Jamaat-e-Islami which boycotted elections in 1997, is a
small, but influential party, considered the bulwark of an
Islamic revivalists movement.

Ahmed also urged a boycott of Indian movies, which are extremely
popular in Pakistan. "Swear today that you won't watch Indian
movies from today nor allow any one to see them... We will expel
Indian culture from this country," he said.

Many fear that Ahmed's call to stop others from patronising
Western outlets or attending Indian movies, which are shown
throughout the country, could result in violence. In recent
months there have been attacks on Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets
in Karachi. Ahmed also railed against Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif's government for "runaway corruption and mismanagement".
"Nawaz Sharif is insincere in enforcing Islam... He has
curtailed the powers of the president, destroyed the institution
of judiciary and now Ins policies are creating uncertainty in
the army," he said.

Ahmed urged the army to adopt more Islamic ways. Pakistan's
powerful military has ruled the country for 25 of its 51-year
history. Ahmed warned the army's hierarchy that there is
discontent in the lower ranks. He chastised the army's generals
for indulging in "perks and privileges" and warned that "in
Islamic armies, generals lead and not enjoy perks."

Ahmed closed the meeting calling on participants to fight for an
Islamic revolution in Pakistan and bring "radical changes in the

Meanwhile, another religious party, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam
(JUI), has threatened to bum down the houses of opposition
senators if they vote against the Islamic Shariat law bill in
the upper house of parliament, it was reported today. Ajmal
Qadri, chief of the pro-government faction of the JUI, was
quoted by the Jang daily as saying Sharif should "buy" the votes
he lacks. Qadri said the country, carved out of British-ruled
India in 1947 in the name of Islam, would "lose it raison
d'etre" if the Shariat was not implemented there.

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