Friday, December 2, 2011

Pakistanis slam NATO cross-border raid

Sunni Tehreek activists set fire to the portraits of US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they shout slogans during a demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan, on December 1, 2011.

Source: Press TV

Thousands of people in Pakistan have held rallies to protest against a recent NATO cross-border airstrike in the country's northwest that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers, Press TV reports.

Demonstrators took to the streets in the cities of Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi and Sheikhupura on Thursday, and strongly condemned the NATO attack in the tribal Mohmand Agency of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

They also called upon the Pakistani government to immediately end the alliance with the US in the so-called war on terrorism.

Protesters set fire to the portraits of US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they shouted slogans during a demonstration in Karachi.

Lawyers dressed in black suits staged a rally in Lahore, 275 kilometers (170 miles) southeast of the capital Islamabad, and chanted anti-US slogans.

NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military border posts in northwest Pakistan on November 26, killing 24 Pakistani troops.

Enraged by the attack, Pakistan closed the border crossings that the Western military alliance used to transfer fuel and other supplies for foreign forces into landlocked Afghanistan. It also called on the United States to vacate Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan Province.

The US military reportedly uses the remote desert outpost as a hub to launch assassination drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas. Pakistan had previously told the United States to leave the controversial airbase in June.

Furthermore, Pakistan announced it would not participate in an international conference on Afghanistan in Germany next week in a show of anger over the deadly NATO strike.

Meanwhile, Islamabad government warned on Thursday that it could withdraw its support for the US-led war on terrorism if Pakistan's sovereignty is violated again.

“Enough is enough. The government will not tolerate any incident of spilling even a single drop of any civilian or soldier's blood,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told a Senate committee on foreign affairs.

“Pakistan's role in the war on terror must not be overlooked,” she noted.

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