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Pakistan: Motorcade protesting US Drones kicks off for Waziristan


The convoy, which at its start numbered around 150 vehicles, grew steadily throughout the day, appearing to stretch for miles. It was warmly welcomed by Pakistanis in small towns and villages along the route.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch |
Source/Credit: ABC / AP
By Zarar Khan / AP | October 6, 2012

ISLAMABAD  (AP) – Thousands of Pakistanis joined by a group of U.S. anti-war activists headed toward Pakistan’s militant-riddled tribal belt Saturday to protest U.S. drone strikes — even as a Pakistani Taliban faction warned suicide bombers would stop the demonstration.

The motorcade march was led by Imran Khan, the ex-cricket star-turned-populist politician, whom militants have brushed off as a tool of the West despite his condemnations of the drone strikes, which have killed many militant leaders.

Khan insisted the protesters, who want to travel the roughly 400-kilometer (250-mile) route to the South Waziristan tribal region by Sunday, would go as far as possible.

“This is a peace march, an effort for peace in Pakistan on our part. … We are not going to fight anyone,” Khan said as the motorcade set off from Islamabad.

The convoy, which at its start numbered around 150 vehicles, grew steadily throughout the day, appearing to stretch for miles. It was warmly welcomed by Pakistanis in small towns and villages along the route.

Pakistani TV footage showed people showering rose petals on the cars and other vehicles.

Around three dozen Americans from the U.S.-based anti-war group CODEPINK joined Khan for the march. Because access to Pakistan’s tribal regions is heavily restricted, it was unclear whether the Westerners participating in the protest would be allowed to enter the region.

South Waziristan has been the scene of a Pakistani army offensive and a frequent target of the drone strikes aimed at the Pakistani Taliban. The protesters say that despite U.S. claims, the strikes have terrorized peaceful tribes living in the area and killed many innocent civilians.

[ more….]

Read original post here: Pakistan Motorcade Protesting US Drones Sets Off

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