NPR : News

In Pakistan, Thousands Protest Against U.S. Drone Strikes

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Pakistan to protest U.S. drone strikes inside their country.

Reporting from Islamabad, NPR's Philip Reeves reports protesters blocked an important road used to carry supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan. Philip filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Some 10,000 people turned out, brandishing flags and chanting slogans.

"They're among those Pakistanis who say CIA missile strikes are a violation of their sovereignty, and too often kill civilians. Imran Khan, the politician and former cricket star, led the protest, which was in the city of Peshawar.

"There'll be 'no peace' in Pakistan until drone strikes stop, Khan said.

"The crowd blocked a NATO supply route in a largely symblic gesture; officials said few trucks run on Saturdays. Emotions are stoked by this week's rare U.S. drone attack outside Pakistan's tribal belt.

"Five people were killed in that [Thursday] strike, including a senior figure from Afghanistan's Haqqani militant network."

Drone attacks have, of course, been controversial for a long time. After a drone strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in 2011, Pakistan closed that very same supply line for months.

The AP reports that following a recent strike, Khan tried to convince the Pakistani government to close off the supply route again. When it became clear the government would not do so, Khan arranged for this protest.

As Al Jazeera reports, the drone issue is politically tricky. Pakistan publicly denounces drone strikes, but the government is "known to have supported some of the strikes in the past."

The network says the U.S. Embassy in Islamad declined to comment on the protest.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Risk Of Opioid Overdose Climbs At Middle Age

Most of the millions taking prescription painkillers are older than 45, research shows, and there's been a recent increase in drug overdose deaths among people over 55. Drug mixing is partly to blame.
NPR

The Environmental Cost Of Growing Food

Economists are working on ways to put a price on the environmental damage of growing food. Take sugar: Half of what we eat comes from beets, half from cane. Each has an impact, in very different ways.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - May 6, 2016

Metro announces its maintenance plan--and the service disruptions it will cause. Election watchdogs question Baltimore primary results. And Republicans in our region are put on the spot about supporting GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

NPR

'Captain America' Is Trending In Nigeria But You Might Be Surprised Why

Nigerian netizens are using the hashtag #CaptainAmericaInNigeria as a vehicle for cheeky social and political commentary.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.