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Tribesmen stage protest at Torkham, Chaman borders against Trump's new policy

Updated August 28, 2017


Protesters from Khyber Agency marched their way towards the Torkham border while holding Pakistan flags. — DawnNews
Protesters from Khyber Agency marched their way towards the Torkham border while holding Pakistan flags. — DawnNews

The Pak-Afghan border crossings at Chaman and Torkham on Monday saw an influx of tribesmen, political workers and members of the civil society protesting against the US's new policy for the region.

Last week, in a statement that was strongly rejected by the Pakistan government, US President Donald Trump had demanded that Pakistan "stop offering safe haven to agents of chaos”, while inviting India to provide more economic assistance and development to Afghanistan.

As a reaction to the US president's statement, a large number of people from different parts of Khyber Agency gathered at Hamza Baba ground in Landi Kotal before heading towards Torkham border, where they staged the protest.

A number of pedestrians holding Pakistan flags, including members of the Sikh community, also made their way towards the border, along with scores of vehicles.

On Sunday, a jirga of tribal elders decided to hold a protest demonstration against the US president's statement.

Meanwhile, the Bab-i-Pakistan gate on the Pak-Afghan Border at Torkhum has been shut closed for all type of movement.

The security sources said that the border closure came about as a preemptive step in light of the rally.

A similar protest is also underway in Chaman, Balochistan, where various political parties, tribesmen and members of civil society gathered near the near the Pak-Afghan border to voice their concerns regarding the US president's speech.

Waving national flags, the protesters walked through various parts of the city while chanting slogans against President Trump.

Security sources said that strict measures were adopted to avoid occurrence of any untoward incident during the protest.

A protest rally was also taken out in Balochistan's Kohlu, where flag waving tribesmen passed through the city and chanted slogans.

In Sibi, tribesmen, members of civil society and political party workers also took to the streets to condemn the US president's stance against Pakistan, while vowing to defend the country against any external threats.

On Sunday, a heavy contingent of police intercepted rally of the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) in Karachi after they crossed Numaish Chowrangi and resorted to baton charge and shelling as the organisers of the rally refused to disperse peacefully.

Police also used water cannons against the protesting students. TV footage shows that some arrests were also made during the police action.