Militants to decide fate of Imran Khan march
Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:27PM
Every man in the tribal areas is a warrior and carries a gun. We will be using them to protect us." Politician Imran KhanPro-Taliban militants say they will hold a meeting to decide whether they will allow politician Imran Khan to march through tribal areas near the Afghan border to protest US drone attacks. “[Pakistani Taliban] will decide what to do a week before his arrival and will announce it,” militant spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan told the Associated Press of Friday. He further added that, Pakistani Taliban consider Khan to be an ‘infidel’, a term associated with a lack of religious belief. Ahsan also denied a threat reported earlier by the Associated Press that the group would kill Khan if he holds the march.
In spite of all the threats, Khan promised to continue with the peace march in late September through Waziristan, an area that is home to a plethora of insurgent groups.Speaking to the Guardian on Thursday, he said he hoped his "peace caravan" would attract 100,000 people. "Every man in the tribal areas is a warrior and carries a gun. We will be using them to protect us," Khan added. More than 200 people have died in drone attacks in Pakistan's northwest tribal regions since the beginning of this year.
Washington claims its drone strikes target militants, although casualty figures clearly indicate that Pakistani civilians are the main victims of the assaults.Despite Pakistani government’s repeated calls on Washington to end the drone attacks, the US government continues its strikes on the tribal regions of the country. The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, in the US drone strikes has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, prompting Pakistani officials to send warnings to the US administration over the assaults. The aerial attacks were initiated by former US President George W. Bush but have been escalated under President Barack Obama. DA/TNP/JR