NATO attack: Pakistanis demand end to US ties

During a huge rally organised in Lahore, lawyers` groups urged the government to stop providing any logistical support to NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Lahore/Islamabad: People across Pakistan, including lawyers and political activists, continued protests on Thursday against the cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 soldiers over the weekend and demanded that the government should snap ties with the US.
During a huge rally organised in Lahore, lawyers` groups urged the government to stop providing any logistical support to NATO forces in Afghanistan and to reject all financial aid from the US.

They contended that Pakistan`s participation in the US-led war on terror had put the country`s sovereignty at stake.

Several leaders of lawyers` groups demanded that Pakistan should immediately end its relations with the United States and take back military bases that were being used by American forces.

Lawyers boycotted courts as part of the protest and marched in a rally along the Mall Road, Lahore`s main thoroughfare.

Though the Lahore city administration had banned protests on this road, the lawyers obtained special permission for their rally from a court.

They shouted slogans against the US and pledged their support to the military leadership.

Pakistan responded angrily to Saturday`s NATO attack on two military border posts by closing all NATO supply routes and asking the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, reportedly used by CIA-operated drones.

In Faisalabad, several organisations and people from different walks of life staged rallies against the NATO attack.

The protesters carried banners and placards and shouted slogans against NATO forces.

Activists of the main opposition PML-N party, Imran Khan`s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and Pakistan Medical Association were among those who joined the protests.

They appreciated the government`s decision to stop NATO supplies.

In Karachi, the Pakistan Hindu Council strongly condemned NATO`s "unprovoked air strike" on the Army posts and described it as an attack on Pakistan`s sovereignty.

The Council pledged its "full support" to the army in its fight for the honour, sovereignty and safety of the country. Among those who joined the protest were former legislator Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Mahesh Kumar Talreja, Mohan Lal
Harchandani and Mangla Sharma.

They appealed to international organisations like the United Nations to take note of the "US aggression".

They underlined the need for changes in Pakistan`s foreign policy to uphold its interests and sovereignty.

"We will have to take certain difficult decisions," Vankwani said.

The protestors shouted slogans like "We condemn NATO attack on our sovereignty" and "Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians are brothers".

In Quetta, peace activists, members of civil society groups and the Balochistan Gender Network participated in a candle light vigil organised by Aurat Foundation to protest the NATO air strike.

PTI

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