Supporters of Imran Khan’s party in northwest Pakistan Sunday roughed up drivers and forcibly searched trucks carrying supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan as they continued their protest for a second day against US drone strikes.
Activists from Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf,which ruled Khyber-Pakthunkhwa province,blocked NATO supply lines in Peshawar,Dera Ismail Khan,Attock,Khairabad and Swabi.
The protest came a day after the cricketer-turned- politician called on his supporters to stop NATO supplies at entry and exit points of Khyber-Pakthunkhwa to protest US drone attacks.
“Our protest will continue until the US ends missile attacks,” he said. A few protesters stopped trucks and hauled drivers from their cabs to check their paperwork,believing they were carrying NATO supplies that resulted in fights.
The truck drivers,however,claimed that they were transporting clothes as a part of the Afghan transit trade.
The Tehrik-e-Insaf had said,trucks will be stopped at various locations in the province but the main location is the Ring Road,the main supply route for NATO container trucks.
Addressing a rally yesterday,Khan said: “Before the elections,we promised to bring peace to the country. But without drones being stopped,peace cannot be attained.”
After the November 1 drone strike in which Tehrik-e- Taliban Pakistan leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed,the Tehrik-e-Insaf along with its religious allies had decided to block the NATO supply route from Peshawar to Torkham.
In a rare drone attack outside Pakistan’s tribal areas on Thursday,at least six persons were killed in Hangu. Khan said it was their “legal right to halt NATO supplies
now that a US drone has hit the settled district of Hangu”.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government considers US drone strikes as attacks on Pakistan’s sovereignty and wants the federal government to take concrete action on the issue.