Lahore: Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed has launched a signature campaign against the reopening of NATO supply routes under the banner of the Defa-e-Pakistan Council, a conglomerate of over 40 hardline and extremist groups.

Saeed has pledged to tour the country to mobilise the people against any decision by the government to reopen the supply routes, which were closed after a cross-border NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

The Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief led a protest against the proposed restoration of NATO supply routes from Nasser Bagh to the Lower Mall in Lahore yesterday after the Friday prayers.

A large number of activists of the JuD and other hardline groups participated in the rally and shouted slogans against the US, Israel and India.

Saeed asked the activists to prepare for a long march against the Pakistan People’s Party-led government, which he claimed could not bear pressure of the US and planned to allow the reopening of the supply routes.

He questioned why those favouring the reopening of the supply routes on humanitarian grounds did not show sympathy with the relatives of thousands of Afghans who were martyred" by US-led forces in the "so-called war on terror".

He warned the government to learn a lesson from former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's mistakes and act on the wishes of the 180 million people of Pakistan.

Earlier, Saeed launched a tirade against the US and India in his sermon during the Friday prayers at the JuD's Masjid Al-Qadsia at Chauburji. Jamaat-e-IsIami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Jamaat Ahl-e-Hadith and Pakistan Ulema Council leaders too spoke and warned the government against making any decision to reopen the supply routes.

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Amirul Azeem said religious parties would resist and lay siege to NATO vehicles that would carry supplies to foreign forces in Afghanistan.