Thousands of Pakistanis Protest U.S. Drone Attacks in Karachi
An estimated 7,000 Pakistanis demonstrated in Karachi, the nation’s largest city, on Sunday in opposition to US drone attacks in the country’s northwest that violate Pakistani sovereignty. Agence France-Presse reports that activists from the Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Movement for Justice, held a two-day sit-in outside the city’s port, which is used to transport weapons and equipment for use by NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan.
The protesters, some of whom chanted anti-American slogans and carried banners reading “DEATH TO AMERICA,” called for an immediate end to US unmanned aerial drone attacks and urged the Pakistani government to stop cooperating with the United States in its “War on Terror.”
“It is not Pakistan’s war, this is America’s war,” Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and famed former cricketer Imran Khan told the crowd. “This war has killed thousands of innocent Pakistanis, women and children,” he said.
The drone strikes, which have been dramatically increased since President Barack Obama took office, have indeed killed massive numbers of innocent civilians. In 2009 alone, some 700 civilians were killed, compared with just five militant leaders.
There have been 28 CIA drone strikes so far in 2011; seven since the US assassination of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden on May 2.
Khan said the drone strikes were “creating suicide bombing factories” and pointed out that “there was not a single Taliban militant in Pakistan before 9/11 but since we joined this war, we are facing acts of terrorism, bombing and drone strikes.”
He also had harsh words for his country’s leaders. “These attacks are against Pakistan’s interests. I ask the government to stop NATO supplies via Pakistan, but I am sure they can’t, because these shame-proof rulers are getting dollars.”
Tagged al-Qaeda, assassination of osama bin laden, c.i.a., c.i.a. drone strikes, civilian deaths drone strikes, drone strikes violate pakistani sovereignty, imran kahn cricket, imran kahn protest, imran khan, imran khan tehreek-e-insaf, islamic militants in pakistan, karachi, Pakistan, pakistani civilians killed by drone attacks, pakistani taliban, pakistanis protest u.s. drone attacks, Taliban, tehreek-e-insaf, terrorism, thousands of pakistanis protest u.s. drone strikes, u.s. drone strikes, u.s.-pakistani relations, War on Terror