PESHAWAR, Dec 5: After the US announcement to suspend Nato shipments to and from Afghanistan via Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Peshawar district chapter on Thursday recommended to the party’s provincial leadership to announce the winding up of the two weeks long sit-ins in the province.
The recommendation was made during a meeting held here, where JI, Peshawar district chief Bahrullah Khan was in the chair.
A participant told Dawn that there was no need to continue with sit-ins as the US government had announced to suspend movement of Nato supply trucks out of Afghanistan via Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said the district chapter of JI had formally asked the provincial leadership to wind up sit-ins in consultation with other coalition partners in the province as their main objective had been achieved. “Protest camps should be wounded up,” he said.
However, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) provincial spokesman and MPA Mohammad Ishtiaq told Dawn that the party’s protest would continue until the US ended drone attacks in Pakistan.
“Our main concern is drone attacks. Protest will continue until the US stops drone strikes inside Pakistani territory,” he said, adding that such attacks caused collateral damage.
The PTI spokesman said right groups in the US were pressuring their government to stop drone attacks in Pakistan.
On Nov 23, PTI, which leads coalition government in the province, had begun protests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against the US drone strikes in the province and adjoining tribal areas by blocking Nato supplies to and from Afghanistan via Torkham border.
JI and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan, partners of PTI in the provincial government, had also joined protests.
Workers of the three parties had set up five protest camps along the main highways in the province.
The protesters claimed that the US drone strikes had not only resulted in the killing of civilians but also violated Pakistan’s sovereignty. They are demanding of the federal government to take tangible steps for stopping the US drone attacks.
Organisers of the protest camp at the toll plaza on Peshawar’s Ring Road claimed that 14 containers loaded with Nato supplies had been stopped during the last two weeks and were sent back.
Insiders said a joint meeting of the coalition partners in the province was expected in the next two days on the future of the ongoing protests. They said JI being major ally of PTI would not take unilateral decision in this respect.
Meanwhile, workers of PTI and JI continued sit-in protest at toll plaza on Peshawar’s Ring Road and four other camps on Thursday.
A news release issued by the PTI media cell here said a large number of workers and leaders of the ruling parties attended the camps. It said demonstration in front of parliament in Islamabad, which was attended by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, provincial ministers and parliamentarians, had encouraged workers of the allied parties.