Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Sajid Nawaz said the nation will stand by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif if he reaches a written agreement with the United States (US) stipulating the latter will not disrupt peace talks in the future.
Speaking at a rally at Ring Road in Hayatabad, Nawaz said the sit-ins are meant to portray a strong message to global powers: do not disrupt the possible peace deal with Taliban. “A jirga is needed to initiate peace talks, but it comes with its own sets of rules. One of them is that any move threatening to derail the process should be thwarted,” Nawaz said.
Among others, PTI’s Azam Swati also visited the sit-in and came down hard on Punjab’s law minister Rana Sanaullah. Swati called him a ‘US representative in Pakistan’ and added K-P soil will not be used to supply goods to Nato troops until drone attacks are stopped.
Earlier, PTI chief Imran Khan termed the November 1 drone attack ‘a plot to disrupt possible peace talks’ with the Taliban. After the strike in Hangu on November 21, Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan questioned the sincerity of the US towards Pakistan and claimed America does not want peace in the country.
Starting November 23, PTI and its coalition partners in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government took to the streets to block Nato supply lines. However, the supply still continues through Chaman in Balochistan.
Since then, PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad’s (AJI) activists have staged sit-ins at two different locations: Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway Interchange and Hayatabad Toll Plaza.
One suspected Nato container has been sent back so far because the driver failed to prove the truck was intended only for transit trade to Afghanistan.
The Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) demanded the Pakistan government put an end to drone attacks in the country and halt the Nato supply once and for all, at a protest called by them in Peshawar on Friday.
The US wants to take revenge for its defeat in Afghanistan by attacking Pakistani land, said Ghazi Inamullah from the Jamaat-ud-Dawa at the rally. He added recent drone attacks revealed the US could attack Pakistan wherever and whenever it wanted.
Inamullah suggested Pakistan should distance itself from the US war in Afghanistan, and demanded the expulsion of the US ambassador from the country along with the return of his counterpart.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2013.