News / Asia

Khan Leads Drone Protest in Taliban Territory

Imran Khan, cricketer-turned-politician and head of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is surrounded with supporters as he leaves to lead a peace march against U.S. drone strikes from Islamabad to South Waziristan, October 6, 2012.
Imran Khan, cricketer-turned-politician and head of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is surrounded with supporters as he leaves to lead a peace march against U.S. drone strikes from Islamabad to South Waziristan, October 6, 2012.
Ayaz GulSharon Behn
Pakistan's opposition politician Imran Khan on Saturday led a convoy of some 500 vehicles including some 30 U.S. activists in an unprecedented march toward Taliban territory to protest CIA-led drone strikes in the country's tribal areas.
 
Some 3,000 party supporters waved red and green PTI party flags from their cars, beat drums and shouted their support of the cricket star turned politician as he led the so-called peace march into the impoverished west of the country and into the South Waziristan tribal district along the Afghan border.
 
Khan had shrugged off warnings of violence before the convoy left the capital Islamabad. But VOA's Ayaz Gul reports tensions were high on the slow-moving eight-hour car journey to Khan's hometown of Mianwali near Pakistan's tribal areas.

"One could see that Imran Khan himself was pretty nervous, because he was rarely stepping out of his vehicle, even though this convoy was moving at a very slow pace," said Gul.

Khan Leads Drone Protest in Taliban Territory
Khan Leads Drone Protest in Taliban Territoryi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Analysts said earlier the march was a way of Khan trying to gain political capital as the country readies for national elections in 2013. Reporter Gul says the march may have been a turning point for Khan, who will by vying for power in upcoming vote.

"This is going to bring a lot of attraction to Pakistan, to his political party both locally and internationally, and that is what is going to help raise his political profile," Gul added.

Khan, whose PTI party is most popular with the youth of Pakistan, supports talking with the Taliban. He said before he left that the CIA-coordinated strikes targeting militants were counterproductive.
 
Khan added that they kill and terrorize innocent civilians, feeding into growing anti-American sentiment in Pakistan and creating new fighters as a result.
 
"If you cause human damage, these people will seek revenge, and then the militants will increase," Khan explained.

Some 30 U.S. peace activists with the anti-war group CodePink joined the march. Activist leader Medea Washington said they were trying to show Pakistan that not all Americans agreed with the drone policy.
 
The so-called peace march was to stop overnight in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan before heading toward the South Waziristan tribal district on Sunday.
 
Meanwhile, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik was in Washington to discuss, among other topics, the issue of drones which Pakistan considers illegal and a violation of its sovereignty.
 
Washington insists the strikes are an effective weapon against militants operating in Pakistan's northwest.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jawed Akthar from: Pakistan
October 06, 2012 8:23 AM
There is no need to fear the Taliban.

The real threat to the Peace rally will be silent killer drones in the sky, who certainly will watch the rally from above with Hellfire missles lock and loaded for Code Pink lady Americans who dare threaten US policy in Pakistan

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More