PESHAWAR: Thousands of demonstrators staged a protest against US drone strikes blocking a main road in Peshawar on Saturday and threatened to continue their demonstration until the attacks ended, whereas the provincial secretary information of the PTI announced the party would block Nato supply routes.
The protest was led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and his party, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) along with their allies in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government.
The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad (AJIP) also confirmed their participation.
”We will put pressure on America, and our protest will continue if drone attacks are not stopped,” Khan told the protesters.
Provincial secretary information of PTI Ishtiaq Ormar announced that Nato supply containers to and from Afghanistan via Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be stopped at the border points.
In a statement issued here Saturday, he said, “We by this step wanted to tell the world that we could do what we said and we could do anything for our people.”
Ormar said that PTI’s teams would stop Nato supply from entering into the borders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at any point including Khairabad, Charsadda, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan and Hangu, while this blockade of Nato supply would continue till US stopped drone attacks and formally sought apology on human killings in Pakistan.
He said that American drone attacks were brutally extended to the settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and if this was not noticed and properly reacted then such attacks could also be made at any other part of the country as well.
Earlier during the day, Khan called for a complete blockade of Nato convoys to Afghanistan to put pressure on the US to abandon its drone programme. “We will not allow Nato supplies to pass from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in any case will stop drone strikes,” Khan told the gathering.
“We are here to give a clear message that now Pakistanis cannot remain silent over drone attacks,” Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a senior member of the PTI, said in a speech to the protesters.
Party workers of the PTI and JI had arrived at Ring Road in the provincial capital from across the country. According to some estimates, around 10,000 people participated in Saturday’s protest. The protesters shouted anti-US slogans, such as “Down with America” and “Stop drone attacks.” see more