THE JEENYUS CORNER
Dozens of US and British anti-war protesters are joining a two-day march in Pakistan against US drone strikes on the country. The unmanned attacks result in only 2 per cent of top militants’ deaths, but lead to large number of civilian casualties.
Organized by politician and former cricket superstar Imran Khan, the rally starts in Islamabad and is to end in the tribal region of South Waziristan.
A group of US and British anti-war activists have already marched through the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on Friday in protest against US drone strikes in the northwest territory.
They chanted “Stop, stop drone attacks!” and sang “We are marching to Waziristan.” One placard read “Drones fly, Children die.”
The Western activists, including the US-based peace and social justice movement CODEPINK and Clive Stafford Smith, founder of the London-based legal advocacy organization Reprieve, have also met with relatives of people said to have been killed in drone attacks.
“We have learned here from victims’ families how innocent people, children and women, are being killed. Enough is enough. We should stop these attacks,” AP quotes CODEPINK activist Linda Wenning as saying.
The two-day rally has been organized by Imran Khan, the sportsman-cum-politician who has become a top critic of American drone strikes in Pakistan, saying they have killed many innocent civilians.
“Drone strikes are a crime against humanity. The whole world will be told how drones are destructive and counterproductive through this march,” he said.
There were reports that the demonstration could be targeted by militants. Local newspapers published an Interior Ministry warning that several suicide bombers planned to attack the march.
“People are sincerely and emphatically advised to stay away from the public meeting, and anyone suffering any loss of life will himself be responsible in this world and in the world afterward,” said the warning.
Ahsanullah Ahsan, spokesman for the main Pakistani Taliban faction, made a statement on Friday calling Khan a “slave of the West” and saying that the militants “don’t need any sympathy” from such “a secular and liberal person.”
“Imran Khan’s so-called Peace March is not in sympathy for drone-hit Muslims. Instead, it’s an attempt by him to increase his political stature,” Ahsan stated.
- Americans gather crowds for Imran Khan’s Waziristan march (dawn.com)
- ‘Stop the drones!’ Pakistanis and Western activists march against US strikes (rt.com)
- Imran Khan to lead drone protest (bbc.co.uk)
- Waziristan Peace March: Who will march to evict foreign terrorists from Pakistani soil? (passivevoices.wordpress.com)
- Pakistan motorcade protesting US drones sets off (cnsnews.com)
- Khan Leads Drone Protest in Pakistan (voanews.com)
- Imran Khan to lead peace rally against US drone attacks (itv.com)
- Imran Khan leads protest against U.S. drone strikes (thehindu.com)
- Imran Khan vows anti-drone march to go ahead (dawn.com)
- Pakistan motorcade protesting U.S. drones sets off (usatoday.com)