PESHAWAR: Activists of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Samiul Haq (JUI-S) along with tribal leaders held a protest outside the Peshawar Press Club (PPC) on Monday against increasing drone strikes in Waziristan.
The protesters, led by Maulana Abdul Haq Haqqani, marched from the PPC, crossed the provincial assembly, and later convened at the Governor House. Participants carrying placards chanted slogans against the government for being unable to end drone strikes in the tribal areas.
Addressing the gathering, JUI-S leader and former legislator, Ikramullah Shahid said nine drone attacks occurred during Musharraf’s regime from 2002 to 2008, whereas 230 drone strikes have been carried out in Waziristan during the current government’s tenure, killing more than 3,500 innocent people.
“The rising number of drone strikes is a tactic of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s government to obtain more funds from America,” alleged Shahid. He maintained drones are a strict violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and should be shot down.
Maulana Haqqani said the undeclared war in Waziristan has not only affected lives of people, but has also affected their mental well-being as they continue to live under constant fear of attacks. He claimed there are no foreign fighters living in Fata.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2013.
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