Imran Khan leads Gandhian non-violent resistance in Pakistan

Drones have been bombing the northern border areas of Pakistan, such as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) governed directly by the federal government.

Drone damage

In April & May sit-in protests halt NATO supplies

In April, Voice of America reported that Pakistanis opposed to U.S. drone strikes blocked a road used by the NATO alliance to deliver supplies to neighbouring Afghanistan. Imran Khan and several thousand supporters staged a two-day sit-in on the NATO supply route near the northwestern city of Peshawar.

In May, party workers blocked the port at the Jinnah Bridge in Karachi to protest against US drone strikes in the country’s tribal lands. The port brings in supplies for the NATO forces fighting against Taliban militants in Afghanistan. Agence France Presse reported that ‘cricket-hero-turned politician Khan’ said: “We’ll sit outside the port’s gate from Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening continuously to block the trucks carrying NATO supplies”.

In a developing unity, political parties and religious groups Sunni Tehrik, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Jamaat Islami, Tehrik-e-Istaqlal and nationalist groups of Sindh extended their support and joined the sit-in.

A message to the demonstrators in Bradford five days ago

On Friday 14th September 2012, in the  UK, the BBC’s Look North reported that some 2,000 demonstrators gathered in Bradford’s Centenary Square to protest against US drone strikes in Pakistan. The Telegraph and Argus reported that organiser Shah Sher, said: “There is growing alarm against US drone attacks in civilian areas and British intelligence assistance with this lethal force. Such transfer of military force is unacceptable considering the moral justification for military intervention – to save civilian lives overseas.”

The University of Bradford’s Chancellor, Imran Khan, sent this video message from Pakistan to the protesters. It can be seen here:

A peace march planned for October

A few months ago, as Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman, Imran Khan announced that a peace march towards Waziristan is being organised to protest against the attacks on Pakistani territory. Over 100,000 participants are expected. In August there were meetings with tribal delegations to prepare a detailed route and logistical plan. Imran Khan said:

“The tribesmen will themselves arrange security for the participants. I would take international media to let them know the quantum of destruction caused by drone attacks.The government should step down if it cannot protect the lives of common people. The U.S.-led war on terror is increasing terrorism and there is no end in sight. Killing innocent people in drone strikes and military operations will produce terrorists.

“Talks are the only solution to the problem in Waziristan and elsewhere. We will enter Waziristan with 100,000 people on October 6,” he told a news conference in Islamabad on August 30th.

2 Responses to Imran Khan leads Gandhian non-violent resistance in Pakistan

  1. […] On a sister site some news of the precursors to the 2013 demonstration has been covered: Gandhian non-violent resistance, a two-day sit-in on the NATO supply route near the northwestern city of Peshawar, blocking trucks carrying NATO supplies from the port at Karachi and a long march in 2011 from Karachi to Peshawar in protest against the Obama-sanctioned drone attacks which began in 2009. […]

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