Sacrificing Our TODAY for the World's TOMORROW
FATA is "Federally Administered Tribal Area" of Pakistan; consisting of 7 Agencies and 6 F.Rs; with a 27000 Sq Km area and 4.5 m population.
MYTH: FATA is the HUB of militancy, terrorism and unrest in Afghanistan.
REALITY: FATA is the worst "VICTIM of Militancy”. Thousands of Civilians dead & injured; Hundreds of Schools destroyed; Thousands of homes raised to ground; 40% population displaced from homes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Imran Khan says: Nato route to be blocked if drone attacks continue

Courtesy: Daily "The News", 25 April 2011

Nato route to be blocked if drone attacks continue: Imran
By: Tauseef-ur-Rehman
PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, Imran Khan, on Sunday set one-month deadline for the government to stop the US drone attacks or his party would block the supply routes for the Nato troops based in Afghanistan.

“I warn the government to force the US to stop the drone strikes or we will launch a long march towards Islamabad and also block the supply route for the Nato forces,”

he told the concluding session of the two-day sit-in staged at the Bagh-e-Naran Chowk in Hayatabad against the drone attacks and supplies to Nato forces through Pakistan.

The main supply route for the Nato troops in neighbouring Afghanistan was blocked and no supplies were delivered for the last three days. Several thousand party workers and supporters, including women from all over the country, participated in the sit-in.

Imran Khan requested Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to fix a date at the earliest for hearing the writ petition filed by his party six months ago against the US drone attacks. “The chief justice should provide justice to those who lost their loved ones in the drone attacks,” he said, adding that the air strikes by the unmanned US aircraft were promoting terrorism and radicalising the society. Imran Khan also demanded that reporters and human rights activists be allowed to visit the drone-hit areas so that they could investigate and find out whether those killed in such attacks were terrorists or innocent tribal people.

“Those who say that drone strikes kill terrorists should be ashamed of themselves. According to international law, a man is innocent until proven guilty. Under which law the US attacks the people in tribal areas?” he questioned. He said those attacking the innocent people were the real terrorists.

He said the people in the US and the United Kingdom were against the so-called war on terror but unfortunately the policymakers in both the countries as well as in Pakistan indulged in the war for their vested interests.

Referring to the resolution passed by parliament against the drone attacks, he asked the government to implement the unanimous resolution in letter and spirit. The PTI chief asked the workers of other political parties to force their leadership to mend its ways and lead the nation in the right direction or join him for changing the fate of the country.

He extended formal invitation to Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, the ANP dissident member of the National Assembly from Mardan, and PML-Q member of the National Assembly Marvi Memon to join his party.

Earlier, Javed Hashmi, senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), addressed the gathering. He lauded Imran Khan for taking the step to mobilise the masses against the drone strikes and supplies to the Nato forces.

He said the stance of all the political forces in Pakistan over the drone attacks was almost the same. However, he said the difference was about taking practical steps in this regard. “Imran Khan is the only leader who came out openly against the brutalities being committed by the US,” he added.

The emotional Javed Hashmi, who was accorded a warm welcome by the PTI workers, said: “The PML-N’s stance on the drone issue is the same as the PTI, but now we should also take to the streets. The PML-N leader said: “The war in the region will end the day we stop the supplies to the Nato forces in Afghanistan. Peace will be restored in Pakistan and the people will take a sigh of relief.”

“I will request all the political parties to forge unity and stage a sit-in at the Karachi Port where the supplies to the Nato forces arrive and are despatched,” he said.

He paid tributes to Peshawarites for rendering great sacrifices during the ongoing militancy. “The people of Peshawar are fighting the war of Pakistan’s survival and I salute them,” he added.

Marvi Memon, who despite a fracture in her leg attended the event, stated in her speech that the drone attacks and Nato supplies should be stopped. She said the drone attacks had badly hurt the country’s sovereignty. “The government should take concrete steps to halt these strikes as innocent people are being targeted in the attacks,” she added.

Others who spoke on the occasion included PPP MNA Akhunzada Chitan, Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, Hamidul Haq Haqqani of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI)-Sami, Mufti Kifayatullah of JUI-Fazl, Nighat Orakzai of the PML-Q, Senator Saleh Shah and senior leaders of the PTI.

During the protest sit-in for two days, the excited party workers danced to the loud music played at the venue. Also “Go America Go!” was the most popular slogan during the proceedings.

AFP adds: Nato can resume supplying its troops in Afghanistan today (Monday) through the Ring Road after the protesters lifted the blockade, an official said. “The Peshawar Ring Road has been cleared and reopened for vehicular traffic,” senior local administration official, Muhammad Siraj Khan, told AFP. Trucks will only be able to use the route from today (Monday) because of security reasons, he added.


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