Imran`s party workers join protests by JuD

Imran Khan`s party members joined protests by JuD against Pakistan government`s decision to reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

Updated: Jul 07, 2012, 14:11 PM IST

Islamabad: Imran Khan`s party members joined protests by JuD and Defa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), an alliance of extremist and hardline groups, against Pakistan government`s decision to reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

Workers and leaders of the cricketer-turned politicians Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf participated in demonstrations and rallies organised yesterday across the country by the JuD and DPC.

In Multan city of Punjab province, protests were led by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Tariq Naeemullah.

Naeemullah`s presence in the protest attracted other members of the party, The Express Tribune reported.

The protesters demanded that the government should address the issue of US drone attacks, which they said were disastrous for Pakistan`s sovereignty.

"I will move with the long march in the interest of the country, as this is the only solution to topple this government. We want Imran Khan to join us in this long march to get rid of this government," said Naeemullah.

The government had closed the supply lines last November after a NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The routes were reopened this week after the US apologised for the attack.

The DPC, a grouping of over 40 religious and extremist groups that was formed last year by JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, has said it will organise a "long march" from Lahore to Islamabad tomorrow to protest against the reopening of the supply lines.

The DPC yesterday organised demonstrations in cities and towns across the country.

In Quetta, protesters burnt portraits of US President Barack Obama and hurled their shoes at effigies of American and NATO officials.

In Karachi, a large number of people joined protests organised by the JuD and other groups to condemn the reopening of the supply routes.

Addressing a rally, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Hussain Mehanti said the government`s decision had gone against the will of the people.

The Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadith and several other groups organised processions in Lahore and condemned the government`s decision.

Protests were also organised in Islamabad, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Mardan, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan and Dir.

DPC leaders said the planned long march would mark the start of demonstrations across the country.

They claimed thousands of vehicles would participate in the march that would start from Nasir Bagh in Lahore and make its way to the federal capital.