USA as we all know it has made some mistakes in its fight against terrorism. It created a certain group of allies and went ahead to deal with the menace in countries that proved to be its breeding ground but discussing it is not my aim here. What I want to be talking about instead is one of its long time allies Pakistan that is on its way to turning a foe.
Imran Khan ex-cricketer turned politician was on his way to protesting against the increasing presence of US Drones in Pakistan. The Pakistan officials have told CNN that the protest march was stopped from going to this tribal region. The reason behind government’s decision to not the protest march go to south Waziristan is based on the intelligence information that the march may become target of the fundamentalists. The government acted on the information and returned the march as it put the life of protesters at risk.
Local government officer Shahid Ullah said that they had to use shipping containers and armed forces to stop the march from entering South Waziristan. Protesters were planning to take out a march in South Waziristan on Sunday.
Khan told protesters to retract when forces tried to stop them saying that they have got the attention that they have desired for the cause.
Imran Khan had criticized the US foreign policy of Pakistan in the past also and the recent protest was one another development in that context.
Imran said to reporters, “We will not cause any trouble if the government doesn’t want us to enter South Waziristan,” and “We just want to direct the attention of the entire world to these illegal and immoral drone attacks in Waziristan that have left many innocent people dead.”
USA use Drones quite frequently in the largely ungoverned tribal areas of Pakistan and believe the strategy to be effective in dealing with terrorists. These terrorists are said to receive their training in these areas by militant groups and move on to support insurgency in Afghanistan. Places like these act as safe training ground for fresh terrorism recruits.
About 100 cars was part of the protest convoy taken by Imran Khan. The protest was also supported by US based anti-war group Code Pink. Protester made it a point to wear pink and kept raising slogans like “Stop them! Stop them! Stop the drone attacks,” in Urdu (Native Language).
Protesters were warned by the government of the possible security threat beforehand but didn’t relent. Another government official Tashfeen Khan said, “The situation in the tribal areas is comparatively good but not suitable for any gathering there,”