PAKISTANI DRONE PROTEST October 8, 2012Posted by wmmbb in South West Asia, Terrorism Issues.
Imran Khan and the drone protest convoy, including members from Code Pink, made it to the border of Warizistan, before being turned back by the army. He described the convoy at 15 miles long.
Imran Khan is still tweeting. On returning to Tank, he describes the crowd at charged. Earlier, the crowd has thrown rose petals on the convey vehicles. The Justice Party reports on the protest for Pakistani audiences.
The Pakistani newspaper, The News reports:
TANK: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Sunday reiterated that the higher the number of drone strikes in Waziristan, the more hate they will create for the US, Geo News reported.
The PTI Chief was addressing a rally here after the peace march spearheaded by him against the US drone attacks was barred from entering South Waziristan (SW).
The PTI caravan was stopped since it was not in the possession of a No Objection Certificate (NOC).
Imran Khan demanded of the government to abandon its two-faced policy and tell the truth to the people, warning ‘if the tsunami could head Waziristan, it could also take the direction of Islamabad’. He snapped: “Asif Zardari be afraid of the tsunami”.
Severely criticizing the US drone policy, Imran Khan said the unilateral attacks by pilot-less planes in Pakistan territory only deserved to be condemned, as they are executed in violation of international laws and human rights.
Imran Khan thanked Allah for peaceful culmination of the rally and also the participants for making the peace march possible.
“People from foreign countries have come to show solidarity with the residents of the tribes,” he appreciated, adding despite life threats people joined the peace march in large numbers.
One notes the difference between the first person reporting and that from the media, including foreign media, such as the BBC. How come they know what the militants are thinking? To label the protest with Imran Khan’s name is to negate the concern that many people feel, not least those directly affected, who are the voiceless and the murdered.
At least in The Sydney Morning Herald, not yet framed in tabloid heaven, reference could be found to the protest lead by “cricketer turned politician”, as in “lawyer turned politician”, or in the case of Imran Khan “Chancellor of the University of Bradford turned politician”. Perhaps the activities which he is associated are news because of his cricketing background, and perhaps not as known in the US or Germany.
In September, Imran Khan addressed a protest held in Bradford by video:
The LA Times, unlike either The New York Times or The Washington Post (who at least have reports from Associated Press) had a detailed report of the protest, including the measures taken to prevent it further progress into Waziristan. They reported:
At one point, it appeared Khan was on the verge of achieving his goal. At two locations on the road to South Waziristan, demonstrators got out of their cars and moved out of the way large freight containers placed by police to block the path. Dozens of police manned those locations, but stood idly as demonstrators plowed their way through.
But at a final checkpoint just miles from the South Waziristan border, Pakistani army troops sealed the road with cordons of barbed wire and ordered rally participants to turn back. Earlier in the week, government officials had warned Khan that his demonstration would not be allowed into South Waziristan because of security concerns, and would be turned away.
“You are not allowed to go beyond this point,” South Waziristan’s top administrative official, Political Agent Shahid Ullah, told demonstrators as he stood on the other side of the barbed wire. “The magnitude of security risk is much higher beyond this point.” At first, demonstrators ignored the warnings, pushed aside the barbed wire and drove on, but were stopped again 100 yards down the road by another row of barbed wire and more soldiers.
Demonstrators then turned around and headed back to Tank, where Khan, standing atop a vehicle, denounced the U.S. drone campaign as counter-productive.
His critics charge that his position is phony, and that he is acting out of political expediency – something that goes with the job description. But if Imran Khan has suspect motives, what about the leadership of the Pakistan Government. It is easy to understand that drone attacks are a hot button issue in Pakistan, but equally it should be elsewhere. (Anyway, the PTI Peace March tweets are all positive – I wonder why?)
I do suspect the Americans and their close allies, such as the British, have the technological ascendancy, since their drone navigation systems are linked to satellites, so I am inclined to discount, perhaps incorrectly, the effectiveness of drones flown from, for example, Iran – or even Hezbollah.
- Thousands of Pakistanis rally against US drone strikes (guardian.co.uk)
- Imran Khan leads protest against U.S. drone strikes (thehindu.com)
- Pakistani military blocks convoy from entering tribal region to protest US drone strikes (vancouverdesi.com)
- * Convoy of more than 100 vehicles embarks on 440km drive from Islamabad to SWA – Pakistan Daily Times (dailytimes.com.pk)