JI’s anti-NATO rally ends with calls for restriction on supply routes


Thousands of activists shouted “death to America” on Tuesday at the latest rally protesting the lifting of a seven-month blockade on NATO supplies into Afghanistan.
The march was organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), a leading member of the Defence of Pakistan Coalition of right wing and Islamist groups that have demanded mass protests against the July 3 lifting of the blockade. The JI’s two day’s sit-in that started from Bagh-e-Naraan on Monday afternoon concluded at Bab-e-Khyber to the west of Peshawar on Tuesday afternoon. A large number of the party leaders and workers marched from the city of Peshawar to Jamrud as the crowd shouted “NATO supplies not acceptable”, “Our war will continue” and “Friends of US are traitors”.
During the two-day sit in that took place at Hayatabad, Peshawar and Bab-i-Khyber, Jamrud, supplies to the NATO troops remained suspended. Some oil tankers had been parked at National Logistic Centre’s car parking at Aman Garh Nowshehra whereas trucks and trawlers loaded with edible goods and other items of daily use remained in stranded from Chamkani till Hayatabad. Leaders of JI, which has no seats in parliament, had said 50,000 people would take part in the demonstration, but far fewer made it to Jamrud, close to the Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan.
Local administration official Bakhtiar Khan put the figure at between 18,000 and 20,000, although an AFP photographer estimated the numbers to be closer to 8,000 to 10,000. “We want an end to US slavery, an end to US interference, a ban on NATO supplies through Pakistan and an end to US drone attacks on Pakistan,” JI leader Munawar Hussain said, addressing the crowd. “The war against terror has killed 40,000 people and destroyed peace in the country,” he added. While criticising the mainstream parties, PPP and PML(N), for acting like US puppets and reopening the supply routes, the leader said that the entire nation had hailed the decision of halting these supplies and that opening them,while drone attacks continued, was against Pakistan’s national interests.
Pakistan on July 3 decided to reopen overland routes to NATO convoys crossing into Afghanistan, after they were closed following US air strikes that killed 24 soldiers on the Afghan border last November. The crisis was the worst episode in Pakistan’s decade-long partnership with the US in the war in Afghanistan, with both capitals still struggling to overcome a breakdown in trust. So far, only a few NATO trucks have actually trickled across the border, with owners awaiting a deal on compensation for seven months’ missed work and security guarantees in the southern port city of Karachi. The Pakistani Taliban have threatened to attack NATO trucks and their drivers. There was no sign Tuesday that the protesters would march on the Afghan border itself, despite insistence from Defence of Pakistan that they would bring a halt to NATO traffic.
Local administrator Khan said the demonstrators themselves had decided to call a halt in Jamrud, rather than continue further up the mountains to the Torkham border crossing.
“We did not create any hurdle in their protest march. They themselves decided not to go beyond Jamrud,” he told AFP.
Members of the crowd told AFP on Tuesday that Islamabad’s decision to reopen the border, despite the United States eventually apologising for the deaths, was “treason”.
“The rulers have sold their blood for US dollars but we will continue to oppose it,” said Mohammad Amin, a shopkeeper from the northwestern Swat valley, where the Pakistani army in 2009 defeated a two-year Taliban insurgency. Officials in Karachi say the dispute on compensation could be resolved this week. At the Afghan border crossing of Chaman, in Balochistan, officials said only one NATO truck crossed into Afghanistan on Tuesday. “Thirty-nine trucks carrying food supplies for NATO are parked at the border. Today we cleared eight vehicles, but only one crossed as seven others were denied entry by Afghan officials for lacking some documents,” Pakistani customs official Hassan Agha told AFP.


  1. .
    Not much more front page headlines to be made. Go home. Eat, drink and take some rest …

  2. JI is a Puppet party nor democratic nor political, what happens in Pakistan right now, credit goes to JI, In the past they support dictators, support the establishment and mostly involed in the unrest in Malakan Division when they were part of MMA [Mulla Military Alliance]

    • .
      They are MMA puppet alright. Their controlled protest falls in line with military's sign-off on NATO deal (which they don't want the world to know) …

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