[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Imran Khan to lead anti-drone protest
Cricketer-turned politician joins two-day march to protest against US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions.
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2012 03:49
US has launched more than 300 drone strikes in Pakistan in the last eight years [GALLO/GETTY]

Imran Khan, former Pakistan cricket star-turned politician, is set to lead a two-day march with a group of American anti-war activists to protest against US drone strikes in the country’s tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

The demonstration will commence on Saturday in the capital, Islamabad, and end in a town in South Waziristan province.

The country's tribal belt has been under attack by US forces in their fight to root out the Taliban, as well as the scene of a Pakistani army offensive against armed groups.

Khan has been a voiciferous critic of American drone strikes in Pakistan and has alleged that large numbers of innocent civilians and tribes living along the border have been killed.

Around three dozen representatives of the US-based activist group CODEPINK, along with Clive Stafford Smith, founder of the London-based legal advocacy organisation, Reprieve, intend to march with Khan and publicise the plight of communities affected by the drone strikes.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the US has launched more than 300 drone strikes in Pakistan in the last eight years, killing more than 2,500 people in North Waziristan alone.

Some estimates say a quarter of those were civilians, including children.

The American presence has buoyed organisers behind the protest but also added to concerns that Islamist militants will target the weekend event.

Ahead of the march, local media carried reports of alleged suicide bombings planned against the demonstrations, and a pamphlet distributed in a town along the march route warned participants they would face danger.

The main Pakistani Taliban faction has issued a statement criticising the event.

The US rarely discusses the top-secret drone programme, but American officials have said the majority of those killed are Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida fighters, and that the missiles used in the strikes are very precise.

299

Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list