NATO attack: Break off alliance with US, demand protesters

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 4:00:12 by


Hundreds of people across the country called on Islamabad to break off its alliance with the United States and get out of the ‘war on terror’, as protests against a lethal Nato strike pushed into a third day.

Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed in the cross-border attack early Saturday by Nato helicopters and fighter jets in Mohmand Agency.

Members of civil society, lawyers, traders and students organised rallies in major cities of Pakistan on Monday.

Lawyers went on strike across the country, demonstrating outside court buildings, chanting slogans against Nato and the US.

Islamabad lawyers boycott

Called by the Pakistan Bar Council, lawyers of Rawalpindi and Islamabad High and District courts held rallies, boycotting court proceedings and condemning the deadly Nato strike.

While hoisting black flags in courts, lawyers held a protest demonstration in the court premises and called a general body meeting, in which they passed a unanimous resolution in favour of the Pakistan Army.

“The government should cut Nato supplies permanently, take back military bases from the US and plead that this case violates the UN Security Council mandate,” President of Islamabad High Court Bar Association Ashraf Gujjar quoted the resolution as demanding.

In Peshawar, several hundred students blocked a main road, chanting “Death to US” and “Quit the war on terror”.

Scores of tribesmen also gathered in Mohmand, where the soldiers were killed, to protest against the attack and demand that the government change its pro-US policy, an administration official said.

Meanwhile, around 600 people in Garhi Dupatta, Azad Kashmir, joined the relatives of a soldier who was killed in the attack, and chanted slogans against the US, a police official told AFP.

“The government must retaliate and should suspend relations with the US until there is a fair and free investigation,” Zafar Iqbal, the brother of fallen soldier Tahir Iqbal said.

SHCBA resolution

Around 200 lawyers blocked the national highway in Karachi, chanting slogans in favour of the army, the police said.

The Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA), the Karachi Bar Association (KBA) and the Malir Bar Association (MBA) held a joint general body meeting at the SHCBA.

The meeting adopted a two-page long unanimous resolution condemning what it called the “purposive, motivated and unprovoked attack by Nato forces“.

In an unexpected criticism of the government, President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBAP) Yasin Azad said that rulers who are unable to defend the physical frontiers of the country have no right to rule.

MQM calls for unity

Meanwhile, hundreds of people gathered at the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Karachi headquarters, Nine Zero, to rally for the solidarity of Pakistan and show unity with the armed forces.

MQM Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar said the country needed solidarity, unity and stability more now than it ever has before.

Hussain, he said, “has appealed to all political and religious parties to put their differences aside and unite to make Pakistan akin to a force that cannot be breached.”

While MQM flags usually dot the party’s events, on Monday the party chose to hoist the Pakistan flag at its offices and other locations.

If there was a slogan of the day, it was, “We made Pakistan, we’ll save it”.

Meanwhile, the MQM, as well as the PML-Q, held separate rallies in Hyderabad, also expressing their solidarity with the army.

US ‘most un-favoured nation’

In Lahore, the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Lahore High Court Bar Association held a protest rally at the GPO Chowk.

Condemning the Nato strike, the bars demanded the government to move the International Court of Justice against such attacks.

They also demanded the implementation, in letter and spirit, of the decisions taken by the Defence Committee of Cabinet, including the deadline to vacate the Shamsi airbase. LBA President Shahzad Hassan Sheikh demanded the government to declare America as “the most un-favoured nation”.

Addressing a press conference, Sheikh said that if the government can declare India “the most favoured nation”, it must declare the US its biggest enemy.

(Additional reporting by Obaid Abbasi in Islamabad, Zeeshan Mujahid and Saba Imtiaz in Karachi, and Rana Tanveer and Rana Yasif in Lahore. Additional input from AFP)

Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2011. 

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Posted by on Nov 29 2011. Filed under Breaking News, Latest News, National, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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