In Pakistan, Thousands Protest Against U.S. Drone Strikes | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

Patton Oswalt Tweets In Defense Of Comedy — And Trevor Noah

South African comedian Trevor Noah has been criticized for some tweets that critics say are sexist and anti-Semitic. Among his supporters is Oswalt, who took to Twitter to make his point.
NPR

Scary Times For California Farmers As Snowpack Hits Record Lows

Much of the state depends on that snow for its water. In the Central Valley, the nation's most productive farming region, that means another year of fallowed fields and emergency water measures.
NPR

Indiana Law: Sorting Fact From Fiction From Politics

The culture wars are always percolating beneath the surface in presidential politics. And as is often the case in controversies, the facts have become muddled and conflated.
WAMU 88.5

Uber Tweaks Airport Pickups To Create 'Virtual Queue'

Faced with rules that prevent its drivers from hanging out on airport property waiting for rides, Uber is tweaking its system for ride-hailing pick-ups at Reagan National and Dulles International airports.

Leave a Comment

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