Breaking News

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:36PM
Pakistani protesters chant slogans during a demonstration condemning the reopening of NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan, in Karachi, July 15, 2012.

Pakistani protesters chant slogans during a demonstration condemning the reopening of NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan, in Karachi, July 15, 2012.

Pakistan should revisit its foreign policy. Our foreign policy should be [an] independent foreign policy which means that we should look after our own priorities and not the American priorities." Syed Munawar Hasan, the president (ameer) of Jamaat-e-Islami
Thousands of Pakistanis have again taken to the streets in the south of the country to protest against Islamabad’s decision to reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, Press TV reports. The demonstrators gathered in the port city of Karachi on Sunday to vent their anger at the government’s decision. The demonstration had been organized by Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan's most powerful Islamic political party. The protesters called on Islamabad to immediately close the passageways, used for the transfer of supplies to the US-led forces deployed in Afghanistan. They shouted, "Stop NATO supplies" and carried a banner reading, "Restoration of NATO supply is license to kill Muslims!" Syed Munawar Hasan, the president (ameer) of Jamaat-e-Islami, told Press TV that Pakistan had to revisit its foreign policy. "Our foreign policy should be [an] independent foreign policy, which means that we should look after our own priorities and not the American priorities," he added. From October 2001 to November 2011, Pakistan was used as the main stopover for the supplies headed for the US-led forces occupying Afghanistan. Pakistan blocked the passageways following US-led airstrikes on two checkpoints in the country’s northwest in November 2011 which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. On July 4, Islamabad agreed to reopen the crossings after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was “sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military.” Last week, more than 50,000 Pakistanis held a “long march” protest from the eastern city of Lahore to the capital. At the end of the march, the demonstrators gathered outside the Pakistani parliament and chanted, "Death to the USA" and other anti-US slogans. The Defense of Pakistan Council (DPC), an alliance of 40 religious groups and political parties, had organized the march. DPC Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq has vowed for the protest movement to continue, focusing “on the areas from where the supply goes to NATO forces in Afghanistan.” GJH/MN/MF/HN