Accessibility links

US Drone Protesters in Pakistan Block NATO Supply Route

  • VOA News

A supporter of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party, headed by cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan, holds up a poster and shouts slogans during a protest against U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Nov. 23, 2013.

A supporter of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party, headed by cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan, holds up a poster and shouts slogans during a protest against U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Nov. 23, 2013.

In Pakistan, some 10,000 or more people protesting U.S. drone strikes blocked a NATO supply route into Afghanistan Saturday.

Pakistani cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan led the demonstration, threatening to block supply lines through his region indefinitely if the drone attacks do not end.

Khan's political party runs the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan's northwest, bordering Afghanistan.

Saturday's protest comes just two days after a suspected U.S. drone strike on an Islamic seminary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa killed at least six people. The seminary is known to be visited by members of the Afghan Haqqani network -- one of the most feared groups battling foreign troops in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban.

Thursday's strike was the first such attack since November 1, when a suspected U.S. drone strike killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud in the North Waziristan tribal area.

But Imran Khan said this most recent attack occurred in a settled area, not a tribal area. Pakistan's government denounced the attack, as it regularly does in the case of drone strikes, publicly calling them a sovereignty violation, even though it is known to have supported them in the past. The U.S. considers the strikes an important tool in the fight against terrorists.

The drone issue has become a growing source of tension between the U.S. and Pakistani governments.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG