Thousands of Pakistanis rally against US

Published: March 18, 2011
Multiple political parties and civil society groups hold demonstrations in the cities of Islamabad and Lahore. PHOTO: AFP

Multiple political parties and civil society groups hold demonstrations in the cities of Islamabad and Lahore. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of people took to the streets across Pakistan on Friday to protest a US drone strike that killed 35 people this week and the release of a CIA contractor who had been held for murder.

Security was tight and the US embassy in Islamabad and its consulates in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar were closed in anticipation of public anger, but fears of violence proved unfounded with fewer demonstrators than expected.

Some 3,000 people rallied outside Islamabad’s Red Mosque against the release of US national Raymond Davis, a contractor with the Central Intelligence Agency who shot dead two Pakistanis in January, an AFP reporter said.

The protesters chanted “Friends of the US are traitors”, “Down with America”.

More than 1,500 people rallied in the eastern cultural hub of Lahore, including demonstrators from the religious Jamaat-e-Islami party and outlawed religious party Jamaat-ud-Dawa, and from the party headed by cricket hero turned politician Imran Khan.

They burned US flags, chanting “Go America, go” and “Go Zardari, go,” an AFP reporter said.

Davis was set free on Wednesday after $2 million was paid as blood money to the families of those he killed in a busy Lahore street.

His release was widely condemned among the Pakistani public and media, and anti-US sentiments rose after missiles fired from an unmanned US aircraft on Wednesday killed 35 people including civilians and police.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hassan accused Pakistani intelligence services of reaching a deal with the CIA for Davis’ freedom.

“(Our) rulers were fully part of the deal that led to Davis’ release,” he said.

In the central city of Multan, about 400 people chanted slogans against the United States and Pakistani government, charging their rulers with “bartering the national honour for their own luxuries,” witnesses said.

In Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district where recent drone attacks have been concentrated, more than 1,000 tribesmen called for an immediate end to drone strikes and compensation to victims’ families.

They shouted “Death to America” and “Recall our ambassador to America”, while local cleric Maulvi Mohammad Rooman, who led the rally, condemned the latest drone attack, calling it “intolerable”.

Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders have already condemned Thursday’s drone strike against a militant hideout in North Waziristan tribal region and demanded an apology and explanation from the United States.

Civilians and police were among those killed when US missiles ploughed into a compound in Datta Khel town, 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Miranshah.

Intelligence sources in Peshawar said the dead included 12 Taliban militants.

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Reader Comments (49)

  • faraz
    Mar 18, 2011 - 4:02PM

    Imran Khan with Munawar Hassan and Hafiz Saeed! Imran never fails to surprise you; JI was already hard to swallow but rallies with banned terrorist organizations! Who comes up with such ideas, cant Imran organzie a rally on his own?Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 4:05PM

    Dear Pakistanis,Please stay in home.. otherwise any american can kill you.they hav license for killing,aproved from govt, army & courts!Recommend

    Mar 18, 2011 - 4:22PM

    I sole heartedly condom to release to Mr. Revend Devise, why not released Ms. AFIA? There is a main question to the Govt. of Pakistan and Amireka . why he come in Islamabad, what were his purposes?Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 4:29PM

    Apparently only those political parties are on the street who are neither in parliament nor enjoying any perks from establishment. Apart from media that ignited some, most Pakistanis are indifferent to this prevailing situation, only limited to drawing-room discussions for amusement. And these agitating political parties are on the street anyways… So it is not a big deal. And we proud nation of millions will always be prosperous and victorious as that of 1400 years ago… So who cares then…Recommend

  • feroze
    Mar 18, 2011 - 4:33PM

    How about protesting the lack of basic amenities, clean drinking water, education, health care, law and order instead of something which has happened and do what you will but RD aint coming back and the families of those killed by him have accepted a crap load of money!! No wonder this country is where it is because the political parties really dont give a damn about the basic issues and jump on any band wagon they can that is opportune for them at the time!!!Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 4:45PM

    If this agitation and anarchy is the solution; then lets it be done once for all…Recommend

  • Omer
    Mar 18, 2011 - 4:58PM

    Dear ZIA ULLAH TAHIR, maybe you can learn to spell better!Recommend

  • Hassan Bokhari
    Mar 18, 2011 - 5:47PM

    Its done and over with, the family has settled the case, so why are all these invaluable political parties like PTI and JUI going crazy, its just because they have no say and just are there for the exposure. Imran Khan and the Maulvis never protested during martial law regimes, such as Musharraf’s who allowed all these Americans to invade our country.They accepted him with open arms and supported him, including our chief justice. These illiterate maulvis have been sitting with Zia Ul Haq and all those other American dictators since day one. What a ripoff to this country and what nonsense political parties who just toy with people emotions.Recommend

  • Anwar
    Mar 18, 2011 - 5:52PM

    It never ceases to amaze me where these so called “enlightened people” come from to post there trash on ET.

    This is more than about some white guy, this is about who’s running our country. One of you posted something about clean drinking water? Who’s suppose to provide us with that clean drinking water?

    This same government that let a CIA contractor who murdered two Pakistanis in cold blood go. Good luck with that. If you want to sit around your computer and whine and complain about why people are legitimately upset, be my guest.

    But don’t go around trashing those people who are actually trying to bring a change. I consider myself a liberal, but that doesn’t mean that everything the Mullah brigade does is wrong. There are many things about them which everyone supports, the problem with them is there tactics.

    That being said, I fully support the protests. Recommend

  • Cautious
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:13PM

    Seems like the only time you see Pakistani’s on the street protesting is when they are fighting for the right to execute someone under your blasphemy laws or ranting against the infidel American’s. How about taking some of that pent up energy and reforming your government? How about fixing your education systems, providing clean drinking water, basic sewers etc. And how about kicking out the foreign militants who use your country as a base to attack others. In case you haven’t noticed it the entire World has a poor opinion of Pakistan – when everyone tells you that you smell bad it’s time to take a bath.Recommend

  • praveen
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:26PM

    The great pakistan…………. Thousand are on road…. to protest against Davis release. These islamists cant they thing for a second that davis escape happened due to Gods Law,ie 7th centrury Sharia…..Are they all against Sharia. Then all of those on road must be rounded and dumped into jails and booked for jabardast mass blashemy……

    Also think for a while for Shaheen bibi, a christian women , who was kidnapped,raped,maried off, converted to islam and chained all for months on…… Not even mainstream media is not reporting…. What a nation, what a society….Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:41PM

    This deal was finalized in a Punjab court under free and independent judiciary in broad daylight. The whole decision was based upon the Islamic Sharia Laws intalled by the previous Nawaz govt.

    Punjab is ruled by right wing PML-N govt, they have the police under control and great relationship with jihadi organizations. Yet they want to play both ways. Now they are fully exposed that they only give lip service to Islam and use the militant fanatics for their own political gains.

    When would people understand that this deal was under Sharia Laws and they have either to reject these unfair laws or put up with them. Now they should know how Pakistani minorities feel under these laws!

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • Qalandar Khan Mastana
    Mar 18, 2011 - 6:56PM

    Cost of killing two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor in a bazaar in broad daylight 2 million.Recommend

  • Bangash
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:09PM

    Protests are routine in Pakistan and this one was small and no big deal.Recommend

  • Karim Khan
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:10PM

    I think this is a base attempt to cash Davis’s case in terms of one’s political career. If they had to protest, why in Islamabad? The reight place to protest would be in Lahore, outside the court which let Davis go or at Qurtuba Chowk where the blood-spilling happened.Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:15PM

    Good to see parties are uniting for this cause. Recommend

  • Har Maal Do Do Rupaiyah
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:29PM

    Instead of all these protests; the protesters should accept some ‘blood money’, disappear for a few days, go visit La-la land, and then live happily ever after. Isn’t that how we handle murders now? Also, it would bring some much-needed dollar$ to our national exchequer and stimulate the economy.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:47PM

    In Davis Drama


    Pak army
    Pak ISI
    PML-Nawaz duo


    average Pak citizen. ( because when the losers lose, the people win by default )

    Sharia rules the land. Drones rule the skies. Welcome to the nuclear republic occupied by Pak arnmy/ISI.Recommend

  • Mar 18, 2011 - 7:47PM

    If freinds of America are traitors then you will have to start with getting rid of Kayani and the high command first. But no, rather just use this as another chance to ridicule an impotent government. As if the government is toppled and someone else comes in the Army is going to change its policies. Recommend

  • Curious1
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:35PM

    Rallies ! For what ! ! ! Against Sharia, I assume. Isn’t Raymond Davis pardoned according to The Sharia Law ? ? ? Are these rallies in favour of ‘blood moey’ or against?Recommend

  • Noor
    Mar 18, 2011 - 9:37PM

    Hence proved. There’s not going to be any revolution in Pakistan. As Gillani would like us to believe, “We are not Tunisia”.
    We are worst.Recommend

  • Mathew
    Mar 18, 2011 - 9:59PM

    @Cautious: Give it a rest! Since when do you Indians give others advice about hygiene? Take a bath yourself and keep your asinine comments to yourself. Have you forgotten that the Indus River civilization of Pakistan was the first modern society to have organized sewage, sanitation and running water over 5000 years ago? As for whether the world has a poor opinion of all Muslim states, I am sure you are one of those who is actively involved in creating such impressions in order to support your own cunning games. Yes Pakistan has challenges that need to be addressed like improving health care and education but we are surrounded by interfering neighbours who never lose a moment to cause trouble in Pakistan. As for the nation to assert its sovereignty, why don’t you allow China to bomb India while you worry about 400 million Indians who live in abject poverty. Either follow a debate properly or keep your anti Pakistan feelings to yourself. You don’t see Pakistanis go to Indian sites to play your games.Recommend

  • Macdoodle
    Mar 18, 2011 - 10:01PM

    N Pakistan has been harboring and growing Taliban for a long while. So this is tricky. Some Pakistanis in high places won’t give up the Taliban as they provide drug money and other perks in exchange. But to end the war and stop large scale deaths we do need to specifically target Taliban, and so then whoever is consorting with the extremists or near or supporting them gets caught in the fray.
    Is this correct?Recommend

  • ali
    Mar 18, 2011 - 10:16PM

    1500 men revolution! Imran seriously thought people would come on street for Raymond Davis. People have other issues like inflation, electricity bills etc Recommend

  • Ali Farooqui
    Mar 18, 2011 - 11:19PM

    lol @ protests .. its about time these politicians realise this nation is full of virtual warriors, virtual liberal and virtual jahadists … you see ample example on this site muttering mumbo jumbo and ‘mu ke fire’ ask them to come out and they suddenly remember their electricity bills and college assignments, its a nation of hypocrites (me included) suffering from Ostrich like characteristics with their heads buried in sand (or identities hidden behind a supposed enlightened screen name) and saying aaallll iiizzz wwweellll Recommend

  • siddiq
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:30AM

    We are told that blasphemy laws are part of sharia, therefore there can not even be a discussion of them much less any public protest. Aren’t qisas and diyat laws under which Raymind Davis was pardoned part of sharia too? How come these warriors of Islam condone murder when someone criticizes application of sharia laws, but now are openly protesting against its application in the streets? Hypocrite is not a big enough word for them. Recommend

  • Cosmo
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:32AM

    @Hamza Baloch:
    Well, you cant be so selfish, afterall it is the Americans who are sustaining your lifestyle in Pakistan. aint it? what do you think where does money come to your government?Recommend

  • Cosmo
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:34AM

    Well, the difference between Afia and Davis is that While, Afia went there to purpotrate terrorism, Davis came here to eradicate terrorism. I wont be surprised if this is too hard for you to understand.Recommend

  • Cosmo
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:38AM

    Well, then what are you doing whining infornt of the computer. Go and join them and be our guest.Recommend

  • Cosmo
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:40AM

    How dare you Praveen to Question the Great Pakistan. as long as it is in the name of religions any amount of wrong would be right. Recommend

  • pakbeg
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:42AM

    jui is part of the dead they have received 25 million FROM PUNJAB and federal government to keep their protests as less as possibleRecommend

  • Cosmo
    Mar 19, 2011 - 12:48AM

    “Civilization”, which dream world are you living in? You were not even named some 60 years back, what civilazation are you talking about? Well, accept it or not, you have a borrowed land called pakistan whihc you have rented to amrica to play its dirty games in there. keep your preaching to yourself. as far as the newssite is considered, it is free world. “www” & “dot com” belongs to everyone and anyone who has access to it.
    Again dont preach on this too.Recommend

  • Bing!
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:20AM

    It’s called the “Indus River Valley Civilization” and not “Pakistan River Valley Civilization” for a reason – Pakistan has been around for only 60+ years. You people dont even use the original word for the river – Sindhu. Stop claiming it as yours. It belongs to us, the indigenous people of India.Recommend

  • Waqas
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:45AM

    I’m so proud of all the ppl of have come out of homes and protested!

    I want to see more ppl coming out of their homes – enough is enoughRecommend

  • Raj
    Mar 19, 2011 - 2:53AM

    Majority of the protesters are wearing western clothes, if USA give them instant Green Cards, all will readily accept them. Bunch of hypocrites..Recommend

  • Palvasha von Hassell
    Mar 19, 2011 - 3:19AM


    Wonder how many illiterates there are on this blog…there is no such word as “purpotrate”! Positively disgraceful! Recommend

  • imran
    Mar 19, 2011 - 3:31AM

    Hafeez Saeed and Imran khan!!

    Rab ne bana di jodi!!Recommend

  • Ali Farooqui
    Mar 19, 2011 - 5:32AM

    @Cosmo: Your pathetic xenophobia, racism and self gratification dripping like slime from every word your wretched fingers type is the real reason why Indians are mostly hated by Pakistanis.We as a nation are aware of our shortcomings things will worsen before they get better and once they do get better, haters will be awarded their deserved comeuppance. Recommend

  • kazmi
    Mar 19, 2011 - 7:00AM

    i just fail to understand that y do we have so many indians coming here and commenting on our internal matters??? seems like they have nothing better to do … i highly doubt if pakistanis go and do the same things on their forum … kindly … anti pakistanis leave our forum and sort out your own probs … (which are alot more than as compared to Pakistan!

    With the grace of Almighty we wll sort our our probs and we will come out of the crisis!!Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Mar 19, 2011 - 8:25AM

    Imran Khan’s party has 22 followers and 21 of them had turned out at the rally (1 was sick).
    What more do you expect?
    One thing is pretty clear. If you want to have a large rally, it is impossible without PPP or PML(N). The others just make a lot of noise but they don’t have the following.Recommend

  • Tariq Ahmad
    Mar 19, 2011 - 8:27AM

    Really confusing, why would Pakistani muslims demonstrate against US. US paid blood money in accordance with Islamic laws, that the family accepted. In addition it is the US that went to Bosnia to save muslims, and again it is US that is going to take care of this idiot Gadaffi.

    Where are the Muslims in Pakistan demonstrating against the Gadaffi thugs who are killing muslims. What hypocrites.

    People deserve the government they get and Pakistanis deserve everything they get. They are all hypocrites, blame US for everything never blame the idiots who run themRecommend

  • F Robinson
    Mar 19, 2011 - 8:30AM

    Drone strikes are essential element of war on terror. US forces are not physically present on the ground and Collateral damage is minimal. So far drone strikes have been very productive and must continue in future with care. Recommend

  • Fareedi
    Mar 19, 2011 - 10:24AM

    It is a wakeup call for all Pakistanis. We have to rise beyond Party Politics and think of Pakistan. Those responsible for this National shame must never be re-elected. If we do not realize what our responsibility is, we should not complain.

    Wake up my Country men, or remain asleep for ever.Recommend

  • Anwar
    Mar 19, 2011 - 10:50AM

    Raymond Davis killed two Pakistanis and every one is screaming. Pakistanis kill Pakistanis daily and nobody cares.Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2011 - 9:08AM

    Yes yes…..give us your money and then go away….this country is FILLED with hypocrites. You want to be truly independent? Stop begging for handouts and become self sufficient. The US Money comes at a price… with it.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Mar 20, 2011 - 1:17PM

    They can shout “Death to America” all they want, if they get a chance to move to the “infidel” country or send their kids for education in the US, they wouldn’t hesitate for a moment!

    Just look at the the dozens of Relatives of the men killed by Davis. EVERY SINGLE ONE has accepted US green cards and the money by the same “infidel” country they hated only few days ago and shouted the same slogans like “Death to America” and all those wonderful phrases filled with hate.

    Hypocrisy at its best!Recommend

  • Tim Davidson
    Mar 21, 2011 - 7:16AM

    As an American tax payer, I am appalled by the anti-americanism of the demonstrators. America was the largest donor to help the Pakistanis during the floods. And, America has sent upwards of $25 billion dollars to help Pakistan in the past decade..Yes, friends that is a BIllion with a big “B”. Needless to say, without that aid Pakistan would be no more. I don’t expect flowers of thank-you sent our way (though that would be nice). But, at the very least, the folks can think twice before biting the hand that feeds.


  • Mar 21, 2011 - 12:50PM

    @Tim Davidson:
    I am pretty sure that this comment will not be published.
    you really dont know what kind of inbreed mentality this country has developed.. anyone.. and anyone who tried to help them in any way shape of form.. these people attack them like animals..

    I have tried to teach these people in Univs. and in return I got a MOCK Execution from students supported by teachers..

    This country is a FAILED STATE for very good reasons… and on the top of the list are the PEOPLE of this country!!Recommend

  • Palvasha von Hassell
    Mar 21, 2011 - 1:22PM

    @Tim Davidson:

    C’mon, get off your high horse! You people only give money to buy countries up for your own ends…and then act surprised when the people in those countries don’t see eye to eye with you! Try that baloney on someone else, buddy!Recommend

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