PESHAWAR: Jamaat-i-Islami, a partner of the ruling coalition in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on Friday staged a sit-in on Ring Road in the provincial capital against the US drone strikes in tribal areas and threatened to block Nato supplies in the province after Nov 20 over attacks by the unmanned aircraft.
JI’s provincial Secretary General Shabbir Ahmad Khan, deputy chief Mushtaq Ahmad, Fata chief Haroonur Rasheed, Peshawar chief Bahrullah Khan and provincial Information Secretary Israrullah Khan led the sit-in amid tight security.
JI Central Secretary General Liaquat Baloch and provincial Senior Minister Sirajul Haq were scheduled to speak to protesters but they didn’t show up.
Around 3,000 JI activists and sympathisers staged the sit-in between 2pm and 5pm before holding a joint prayer for peace and dispersing.
Before the joint prayer, the participants unanimously adopted a resolution presented by Israrullah Khan against the US drone attacks.
The resolution urged the government to order Pakistan Air Force to shoot down the US drones in the country, revisit the country’s foreign policy and publicly disown the war on terrorism.
It appreciated the ‘clear’ policy of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government against the US drone strikes and Nato supplies.
Earlier, speakers condemned the killing of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone attack and declared it attack on peace process.
Former MNA and JI provincial secretary Shabbir Ahmad Khan said former military dictator Pervez Musharraf had compromised sovereignty and integrity of the country by allowing the US to carry out drone attack in the country, which was a clear negation of the country’s independence.
He said the people had voted PML-N to power hoping its government would stop the US drone attacks and Nato supplies in the country and compensate the victims of the co-called war on terrorism.
The JI leader said the people would come to the streets to stop Nato supplies if the government didn’t do so.
He said Musharraf was to blame for the killing of at least 50,000 Pakistanis and loss of over $100 billion in the war on terrorism.
Mr Shabbir said the United Nations had declared drone attacks a crime but even then, the US was bent upon killing innocent people by unmanned aircraft.
He said the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone hit was an attempt to derail the peace process in the country.
“The federal government should clarify its position on Nato supplies and drone attacks so that the nation could take a decisive step in this respect without delay,” he said.
The JI leader said the provincial government deserved praise for setting a deadline for the federal government to end drone attacks.
“The people of the province would stand by their government in the national interest,” he said.
For the sit-in, police restricted the movement of the people to the venue, which had bared wires all around.
The movement of trucks and trailers carrying goods from Peshawar to Afghanistan has already been restricted for security reasons.
A police official said transporters were told not to take goods to Afghanistan on Friday, especially during the sit-in, to prevent untoward situation.
Traffic police diverted heavy traffic to Kohat Road near Canal Road, while Hayatabad-bound vehicles were diverted to a link road via Scheme Chowk.