Islamabad: Pakistan is a sovereign state and the Defa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) will not allow the country to become an "Indian market", Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed said on Saturday.

Saeed, described by India as the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, made the remarks while addressing a news conference with other leaders of the DPC in the southern port city of Karachi.

He alleged that both the US and India were "interfering" in Pakistan's affairs.

At a series of rallies and protests organised by the DPC in recent months, Saeed has opposed the Pakistan government's plans to give Most Favoured Nation-status to India by next year.

Saeed said the DPC had decided to postpone a proposed "long march" against the reopening of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan because the leaders of the grouping had decided to launch the protest at the appropriate time.

The DPC is an alliance of over 40 religious and extremist groups that was cobbled together by Saeed last year after a cross-border NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The DPC has organised a string of rallies and protests against the US and India.

The news conference in Karachi was also addressed by Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan, who said any attempt by the government to reopen the NATO supply lines would be resisted by the DPC.

He accused the US of wanting to destabilise Pakistan and carrying out more attacks like the NATO air strike.

"We are ready to pay any price but will not allow the US and NATO to get their supplies through Pakistan," Hasan said.


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