PTI workers send NATO trucks packing

Published: November 25, 2013
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PTI workers block the way of a Nato container in Peshawar. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PTI workers block the way of a Nato container in Peshawar. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR / ISLAMABAD: For Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the trick to a successful blockade of goods en route to Nato troops in Afghanistan lies in the division of tasks for constituency workers.

The party has adopted a strategy whereby each constituency will hold sit-ins on different days. With a plan in hand, the PTI hopes to not only keep the protest alive but also to help party activists do their routine jobs. Each group of 50 members is divided into three shifts which check containers for eight hours.

According to the schedule, Saturday was constituency PK-5’s day to stage a sit-in at the Hayatabad Toll Plaza, where hundreds of PTI workers accompanied by activists of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad (AJI) were posted to block routes.

“We stopped dozens of containers among which only nine were found to be supplying goods to Nato troops in Afghanistan,” said PTI’s general secretary Peshawar Younas Zaheer, who was present at the site with 400 workers.

Zaheer conceded that it was difficult to identify Nato containers among others that were carrying goods to Afghanistan as per routine but claimed that the Nato trucks “were sent back to where they had come from”.

Besides Hayatabad, PTI workers also staged a sit-in on the Ring Road near Chamkani, where another group led by the PTI regional secretary general Fazal Khan, checked hundreds of container.

Umar is confident that his party’s blockade has prompted Nato trucks to halt operations as they fear obstruction. “As per the advice of the chairman, we will not step down unless we are given aguarantee that drone attacks will stop” said Mina Khan Afridi, a PTI activist at the GT Road camp near Chamkani.

In their quest to distinguish Nato trucks from regular cargo carriers, workers broke the seals of dozens of containers for the inspection of goods and had brawls with the drivers in the process.

“They check every truck even though every container is not a Nato supply container,” cried truck driver Rizwan Ali, explaining that Nato truck drivers were avoiding Peshawar as they had been prohibited by police and the political administration of Khyber Agency, and also feared attacks from militants.

Another driver said the seal of his container was opened by workers, but that they left his goods alone when they discovered that he was transporting poultry.  “They are breaking seals and actively checking every container,” Khanzada said.

The call for a sit-in was earlier made by PTI chief Imran Khan, after his governing party in K-P passed a unanimous resolution against drones and set November 20 as the date of a rally.

D I Khan witnessed similar scenes as PTI leaders blocked the Indus High Way at Band Kurai. Activists from Tank and South Waziristan also joined the protest.

In Nowshera, around 150 PTI activists led by K-P Assembly member Idrees Khan set up a protest camp near Khairabad Bridge where participants chanted anti-US and anti-Nato slogans.

A number of PTI activists in Kohat also staged a sit in at the Jarma Chowk on the Indus Highway to halt Nato supply trucks passing through the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • truthbetold
    Nov 25, 2013 - 3:17AM

    These stupid idiots don’t realize that Pakistan will lose billions of dollars from the US if the NATO trucks are stopped. The US has the alternative to use the northern route or by air shipment. Also, simply, they will just donate the remaining military equipment to the Afghan army. The only loser will be Pakistan.

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  • Zaid Hamid
    Nov 25, 2013 - 3:23AM

    Now US will see Pakistan’s power.

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  • GS@Y
    Nov 25, 2013 - 3:23AM

    This is all part of Imran Khan’s grand plan bait the federal government and have his government in KPK fired so he can be saved from having to deliver on the mundane but critical job of actually governing. He is terrified that his charisma will wash away and he and his party will be completely demystified by the next elections. Nawaz Sharif should absolutely desist from any such extreme measure as imposing governor’s rule.

    PTI knows that it cannot as a party decide to physically stop the implementation of a federal government policy. The permission of passage to NATO supplies is part of Pakistan’s foreign policy decision making, and until the federal government decides it no longer wants to continue with this permission, officials at all levels in Pakistan have to facilitate it.

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  • ishi
    Nov 25, 2013 - 3:45AM

    What a stand PTI has taken for peace un Pakistan, love you Imran Khan.

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  • Usman Ajmal
    Nov 25, 2013 - 3:49AM

    Good, and well done PTI. It’s a party of actions, haters gonna hate and liberals gonna cry as always.

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  • Zeshan
    Nov 25, 2013 - 4:24AM

    PTI Zindabad.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Nov 25, 2013 - 4:36AM

    Pakistan is used to having one issue foreign policy. Prime examples are Raymond Davis, Salala check post, Kashmir. NATO is paying $1500 to $1800 per truck. These fools rather beg from IMF or ADB or whosoever is willing to listen than to make wages for honest hard work. Also Pakistan is building a reputation that it is not a business friendly country for transit route.

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  • nyc
    Nov 25, 2013 - 4:51AM

    Hats off Imran! At least there is someone in our troubled country who is willing to protect and save it and make our people stand up for themselves..
    Oh and ET I hope you publish my comment since I noticed recently that you aren’t publishing them because apparently they’re too “Pro-PTI”???

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  • Ahmed
    Nov 25, 2013 - 4:51AM

    well done pti workers. the whole nation is proud of you

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  • Ahmed
    Nov 25, 2013 - 4:57AM

    only PTI workers can stop NATO Supply because under the ground-line communication agreement 2012 the render paths came under supervision of federal government and thats why provincial govt can not use police or other authorities to stop nato supply

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  • ahmer
    Nov 25, 2013 - 6:09AM

    Under wht law are pti workers stopping vehicles and checking papers as well as breaking seals. They should be arrested.

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  • S
    Nov 25, 2013 - 6:09AM

    I like how everyone on ET thinks they are an expert on foreign policy. People talking about Pakistan losing money from NATO supplies and sending the message that pakistan isn’t a business friendly nation need to educate themselves.

    The prime reason to stop NATO supplies is to halt the drone attacks that are fueling more militancy in Pakistan. The reason no one wants to do business in Pakistan is because there is no peace in pakistan due to these militants which are created after every drone strike. Moreover before the drone strikes were only limited to FATA, but last week The US dared to drone Hangu, a settled area in KP! Do these people realize what a dangerous precedent the US has set? If they can drone KP, whose to say they won’t drone Sindh, or Balochistan or Punjab? When the international community, people in the US themselves are protesting against drones, how are these so called pakistanis advocating for drones?
    Also PMLN that has come in to power with a majority or so they say they have, the won the election on the promise of halting drones and were in favor of stop NATA supplies. So what is stopping them now? they have all the power to do so? Why have they taken a U turn from their policies yet again?

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  • Bakhtiyar Ghazi Khan
    Nov 25, 2013 - 6:10AM

    Today Pakistan shows the US and the world, that they cannot be intimidated. We are a free and independent nation. Proud of PTI, great work, the nation is proud of you.

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  • shah
    Nov 25, 2013 - 6:33AM

    These actions of PTI are illegal and violation of Afghan Transit Trade agreement.

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  • zab
    Nov 25, 2013 - 9:07AM

    @truthbetold:
    you just want us to live like a begger
    i dont no who you are but not a friend .

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  • mystriousforever
    Nov 25, 2013 - 9:34AM

    @truthbetold … We don’t need billion against the blood of our people… Leaders should explore other sources of revenue like Industries, Natural Resources, Gold Mines (Riko Dek etc)

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  • Fawad
    Nov 25, 2013 - 9:37AM

    Imran Khan is not a hypocrite. Alas, our people only like and vote for hypocrites.

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  • shazi
    Nov 25, 2013 - 12:06PM

    @GS@Y:
    Keep wishing his name is imran.who has never quit anything.nice try though

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  • shazi
    Nov 25, 2013 - 12:13PM

    @shah:
    I am sorry please educate me what does afghan transit trade has to do with nato supplies?

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  • Zeeshan Ahmed
    Nov 25, 2013 - 6:57PM

    A couple of points to ponder:

    Currently NATO is in the process of pulling out from Afghanistan so most of the equipment is flowing out not in to Afghanistan right now.

    The taliban actually benefit from the NATO supply as they charge the truck owners thousands of dollars to allow a safe passage.

    The truck owners reap additonall benefits by claiming the trucks have been blown up by taliban and selling the goods in the local markets.

    So the NATO supply is actually good for all parties involved.

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  • AB
    Nov 25, 2013 - 10:54PM

    @Zaid Hamid:
    Haha

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