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Thread: PTI peace march to Waziristan kicks off

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mirza44's Avatar
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    PTI peace march to Waziristan kicks off

    ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s peace march to Waziristan Saturday morning kicked off from Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and other towns, Geo News reported.

    Hundreds of all sorts of vehicles are included in the peace march. Janisaran-e-Imran Khan Force has been formed for the security and protection of the rallies.

    Talking to media prior to departure, Imran Khan said that our rallies were in fact peace march, ‘We are not going to fight anyone, therefore, everyone should take benefit from this march, if we are asked to halt then we will stop.”

    He said earlier I was blamed to be a supporter of Taliban, now they were blaming me working for the West. He said that Maulana Fazlur Rahman has a big hand in spreading disinformation about him. Imran Khan said that the Maulana telling people that the Jews and the Christians were coming instead the people accompanying him were peace activists. He further said that Fazlur Rahman was propagating against his peace march fearing his rising popularity in the area

    Imran Khan said that there was no threat to his peace march from Taliban. He said if anything happened with us then the president and his allies and Maulana and the like would be responsible. The people of Waziristan would be providing us security, he said.
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    Forum Administrator bilalhaider's Avatar
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    Due to the unprecedented nature of this 'event', I have made this into a sticky thread. Please post all the updates of the march here.
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    Member Anwer Pasha's Avatar
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    Perhaps they reached Dera
    I congratulate all 'Nirralas'
    So Imran Khan and PTI has been succeeded to made a record .
    A record perhaps for ever .
    Fastest political march of the world .

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    March a “trailer for change,” Khan tells convoy in Mianwali

    ISLAMABAD: A convoy of hundreds of vehicles carrying over 1,000 people who were participating in Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf’s (PTI) “peace march” to South Waziristan reached PTI chief Imran Khan’s hometown of Mianwali Saturday evening.

    The convoy, which departed from Rawalpindi and Islamabad under Khan’s leadership, stopped at Mianwali for under an hour, where the PTI chief held a small address.

    “PTI is not scared of anyone. The government tried to make this march unsuccessful but we are determined to bring peace to the country,” Khan said while addressing the convoy in Mianwali.

    Khan reiterated his party’s stance against drone attacks, saying that drones kill the innocent and that he stands with the people of Waziristan.

    “The people of the tribal regions have been facing difficulties for the last eight years,” he said.

    Terming the march a “trailer for change,” Khan vowed to bring peace to the country.

    Crowds lined the road to greet Khan, and scrums of media and well-wishers thronged his 4X4 as the convoy of more than 100 vehicles embarked on the 440-kilometre drive from Islamabad to South Waziristan.

    But as Saturday wore on, it appeared increasingly unlikely the protesters would be allowed to reach their destination, considered a Taliban and Al-Qaeda stronghold, and often called the most dangerous place on earth.

    The government says the Taliban plan to attack the rally, authorities told AFP it was not safe for Khan to enter the semi-autonomous tribal belt and television broadcast footage of shipping containers closing the road into South Waziristan.

    “I condemn the hypocrisy of the government, who tried their best to make this march fail,” Khan told around 5,000 supporters at a brief halt.

    “They are saying that Taliban have sent nine suicide attackers. If (President Asif Ali) Zardari sends even a 100 suicide attackers this march will not stop,” added Khan.

    Former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who defected from the main ruling party to PTI this year, insisted the march would not be a failure if the authorities stopped it from reaching Waziristan.

    “The point is it’s symbolic,” he said.

    “The government is saying we are against drones. The people are saying they are against drones. What are they afraid of? Why are they blocking us?”

    Khan is accompanied by around 30 US campaigners from the group Code Pink and the British head of legal lobby organisation Reprieve, Clive Stafford Smith.

    Dawn.com’s Sajjad Haider adds: The convoy has left Mianwali for Dera Ismail Khan, which will be the destination for the overnight stay. It is expected to reach D. I. Khan by 9.00pm PST tonight after making a couple of short stopovers on the way.

    There has been an increase in the size of the convoy along the way, with people joining from towns between Talagang and Mianwali. A number of foreign journalists are also part of the convoy, as well as women, most of whom are PTI supporters and activists.

    In D. I. Khan, there are arrangements for an event, where the PTI chief is expected to speak. The convoy will leave for Tank early Sunday.

    The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, meanwhile, decided to provide security to the march until its stay in Tank.

    Earlier in the day, the march had left Islamabad for the anti-drone march towards the northwestern tribal region.

    Speaking to media representatives prior to departing for South Waziristan’s Kotkai town, Khan said the people of South Waziristan would provide security to the peace rally.

    The PTI chief said he was leading the march for peace against US drone strikes and that his party’s rally should not be stopped from proceeding.

    Moreover, at least 30 anti-drone campaigners from the United States were taking part in the march which began from Islamabad Saturday morning.

    Khan said the government wanted to stop the peace rally but the people of South Waziristan were going to provide security to it.

    He said the government’s policy on US drone attacks was dubious and that Interior Minister Rehman Malik was trying to scare people away from participating in the rally.

    The interior minister, meanwhile, issued a rebuttal to Khan’s statement on social media website Twitter.

    “I am in USA and I have neither imposed any restriction for PTI march nor I have any such intentions to do,” Malik said in a post from Washington, DC.

    Khan said attempts were being made to sabotage the march, adding that, the rally was only aiming for peace and he had no intention of initiating a fight with any group.

    The PTI chief said the Taliban had no intention of attacking the rally.

    Supporters cheer en route

    At the Balkasar interchange near Chakwal, hundreds of supporters carrying green and red PTI banners gathered in hot sunshine to welcome Khan and the convoy of around 100 jeeps, buses and cars.

    Party workers in “Cornered Tigers” T-shirts — a reference to Khan’s inspirational talk to Pakistan before their 1992 World Cup victory — formed a human chain round his 4×4 to clear a path through a scrum of media and well-wishers.

    Akhtar Syal, 63, from Sarghoda in Punjab, told AFP he had joined the protest because drones were destroying lives.

    “It is a great thing that Imran Khan has raised his voice against it, so I am going to make his voice stronger and join him in this noble cause,” he said.

    The march plan

    As per the plan, the march starting from Kashmir Highway would be joined by activists from Rawalpindi, Attock and Mansehra at the motorway toll plaza.

    After making a brief stopover at Balkasar interchange, the marchers would be received in Talagang, Rikhi, Mianwali, Kundian and Paharpur before reaching Dera Ismail Khan for an overnight stay.

    On Sunday morning, the march would start from Tank for Kotkai in South Waziristan via Jandola and Aspikai Raghzai.

    Kotkai has gained notoriety in recent years as the home town of Qari Hussain, who was considered the main trainer of suicide bombers within the Pakistani Taliban but is said to have been killed in a drone strike in 2010.

    Sources in the party said that in the event of authorities intervening and stopping the march at any place a gathering would be held there.

    Moreover, unconfirmed reports on Saturday quoted sources as saying that attempts were being made to stop the rally at Jandola, Tank.

    The reports moreover said that barbed wires were being laid at Jandola’s entry points.

    The PTI chief was expected to hold a press conference later on Saturday after the march reached D I Khan.

    Khan was also expected to hold a meeting with citizens from the tribal regions in D I Khan.

    KP govt to provide security till Tank

    The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to provide security to the march until Tank.

    For this purpose, the KP government has posted an additional 400 police personnel and has also posted personnel from the Frontier Constabulary.

    The Pakistan army has also been directed to remain on stand by for this purpose.

    TTP declines to provide security

    The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Friday declined to provide security to the peace march and declared that Khan was a westernised and secular man.

    TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said in a statement that the TTP was an ideological organisation based on fundamentals of Islam and performed all activities in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

    “Imran Khan is a liberal and secular person and so is his party. Therefore, we deny all baseless statements that we have offered to provide security for his so-called peace rally,” the spokesman said.

    Earlier on Friday, local and foreign media had quoted unnamed sources as saying that Taliban had offered to provide security to the rally.

    US drone strikes in Pakistan

    Missiles fired by US drones routinely target militants in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in what US officials say is a key weapon in the ‘war on terror’.

    Peace campaigners condemn the strikes as a violation of international law, Pakistanis as a violation of sovereignty that breeds extremism, and politicians, including Khan, as a sign of a government complicit in killing its own people.

    Khan, who has regularly condemned the US-led ‘war on terror’, says he wants to show the world the damage inflicted on innocent people by the drone campaign.

    But critics accuse the PTI chief of blatant electioneering ahead of polls next year and of ignoring atrocities blamed on militants.

    A report commissioned by Reprieve, Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law last month gave a devastating account of the affect that drone strikes have on ordinary people.

    Reliable casualty figures are difficult to obtain but the report estimated that 474 to 881 civilians were among 2,562 to 3,325 people killed by drones in Pakistan between June 2004 and Sept 2012.

    Dawn.com’s Sajjad Haider, who is travelling with the march, contributed to reporting
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  7. #7
    Member Anwer Pasha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superkaif View Post
    March a “trailer for change,” Khan tells convoy in Mianwali

    ISLAMABAD: A convoy of hundreds of vehicles carrying over 1,000 people who were participating in Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf’s (PTI) “peace march” to South Waziristan reached PTI chief Imran Khan’s hometown of Mianwali Saturday evening.
    So only one percent of the announced number .
    Just think how much money spent on this failed show .
    Please Imran Khan !
    Now think why wasting public money on your failed politics .
    Spend some of it for the purpose .

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anwer Pasha View Post
    So only one percent of the announced number .
    Just think how much money spent on this failed show .
    Please Imran Khan !
    Now think why wasting public money on your failed politics .
    Spend some of it for the purpose .
    With respect at least the money didnt belong to the state nor does it equate to what the PPP and Zardari have stolen from the countries coffers. How much do you think that shameful rogue Zardari has stolen? He should be charged wit theft and attempted murder of a nation...

  9. #9
    Professional PoKeMon's Avatar
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    1000 people is too less. I dont think with this support Imran can be president of pakistan.
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  10. #10
    Member Anwer Pasha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hope View Post
    With respect at least the money didnt belong to the state nor does it equate to what the PPP and Zardari have stolen from the countries coffers. How much do you think that shameful rogue Zardari has stolen? He should be charged wit theft and attempted murder of a nation...
    I think I have read this all some where else .
    Great , It was better to join this march so they could be 1001.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mirza44's Avatar
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    IK has good cause and if intention is genuine then he should be supported.

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    Senior Member Hope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anwer Pasha View Post
    I think I have read this all some where else .
    Great , It was better to join this march so they could be 1001.

    Good to see you have read it elsewhere sir - and just like a politician you avoid answering the question. Can you not answer the question sir?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mirza44's Avatar
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    I believe counting is not a bigger issue but the sincere cause is the main purpose. If IK has genuine intention but not just cheap political demonstration then he should be applauded.

  14. #14
    Member Anwer Pasha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hope View Post
    Good to see you have read it elsewhere sir - and just like a politician you avoid answering the question. Can you not answer the question sir?
    I don't want to go away from the topic .
    Let me continue praying for safe journey of 1000 people .

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mirza44's Avatar
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    The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has once again muddied the waters for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and issued a couple of contradictions of the ‘permission’ earlier given by the TTP chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, hiding somewhere in North Waziristan, in fear of drones that killed his cousin Qari Hussain, the ‘manufacturer’ of suicide bombers.
    The durable spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan has repeated his earlier objections that “Imran Khan is a liberal, secular person and so is his party; we deny all baseless news stating that we have offered to provide him security for his so-called peace rally. His so-called peace march is not in sympathy with drone-hit Muslims; instead, it is a try by him to increase his political height”. He went on to propound a rather complex definition of Pakistani political parties, in power and out of it, and their unsuitability as rulers of an Islamic state.
    Then another more scary statement emanated from Jaishul Khilafa — an outfit linked to al Qaeda — terming Imran Khan “an agent of Israel, the United States and Britain, who wants to strengthen the hold of Jewish and Christian forces in the tribal area of Pakistan”. In this warning, there is an evident threat to the life and limb of the participants in the march. Clearly, the TTP is speaking with a forked tongue signalling differences of approach towards Pakistan as a state.
    Government officials think the Taliban are splintered. Normally, Imran Khan should have heeded this analysis. Two ISI men, Khalid Khwaja and Colonel Imam, were sent to Waziristan on the assumption that their ‘services’ to the Taliban and al Qaeda in the past would give them safe passage to the inner sanctum of the terrorists. (Some assurances had been received from the Taliban or a group of them.) Both were killed by a faction calling themselves (Punjabi) Tigers. Imran Khan should also be chary of taking his 100,000-strong march to Kotkai, the village of Hakimullah and the late Qari Hussain, because they are known as killers of Pakistani Shias. The Wazirs want him to go to Wana instead, which is the headquarters of South Waziristan and less dubious in credentials.
    But Imran Khan says that he has received no direct messages from the Taliban and blames two quarters, the PPP government and Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the JUI-F. The Maulana is supposed to have offered his unworthy spin on the march by saying that Imran Khan had organised the march to boost the filming career of his ex-wife Jemima Khan.
    The PTI chief says that if something happens to his supporters on the way to Kotkai, the government would be to blame. This means that the government should give him protection to avoid being blamed if something untoward happens. On the other hand, officials in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa say that the foreigners with the PTI — around 150 from the US and the UK, protesting the policy of drones in anti-terrorism strategy — will require clearance and a no-objection certificate from the interior ministry. Given the conditions in the tribal areas, no one in the country’s intelligence sector would easily issue such clearance to foreigners.
    Ironically, people in the US and the UK, who object to ‘illegal’ drones, mostly belong to the ‘rascally NGOs’, abominated in Pakistan, and a few academics whose opinion no one minds printing in the American press. These voices are being heard but count for nothing in the overwhelming American and Western view of what kind of results the drones are achieving in Pakistan where the state has lost bits of its territory and is finding it hard to face off the terrorists. However, there is no doubt that documentary films made in Waziristan by these conscientious critics will do a lot of propaganda damage to the American policy of drones.
    The march of 100,000 was haunted by contradictions from the start because of its overly fanciful dimensions. Getting such a large crowd from Islamabad to DI Khan and from there to Kotkai is a feat of logistics whose security no one can guarantee.
    Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2012.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Express's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anwer Pasha View Post
    I don't want to go away from the topic .
    Let me continue praying for safe journey of 1000 people .

    You was the one who went off topic suggesting Imran Khan should save his money. At least it is his own money and of course he is entitled to do with it whatever he wants to - unlike Zardaris $$ as he has stolen off the countries coffers. There is a big difference. Zardari has looted the country and lined his own pockets. IK is spending his own money.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Mirza44's Avatar
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    Anti-drone protest held in Pakistan
    Dozens of US activists join hundreds of Pakistanis led by Imran Khan as they attempted to march to restive tribal areas.

    Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has led Western activists and thousands of supporters on a defiant march to the tribal belt to protest against US drone strikes.

    Cheering crowds lined the road on Saturday to greet Khan, scattering rose petals and heating drums as the convoy of more than 100 vehicles embarked on the 44-kilometre drive from the capital Islamabad to South Waziristan.

    Khan and his supporters are calling for the US to stop targeting Pakistan's northwest territories.

    But as night fell, it appeared increasingly unlikely the protesters would be allowed to reach their destination, considered a Taliban and al-Qaeda stronghold, and often called the most dangerous place on earth.

    The government says the Taliban plan to attack the rally. Authorities told the AFP news agency it was not safe for Khan to enter the semi-autonomous tribal belt and television broadcast footage of shipping containers closing the road into South Waziristan.

    "I condemn the hypocrisy of the government, who tried their best to make this march fail," Khan told around 5,000 supporters at a brief halt on the outskirts of the Punjab town of Mianwali, his former parliamentary seat.

    "They are saying that Taliban have sent nine suicide attackers. If [President Asif Ali] Zardari sends even a 100 suicide attackers this march will not stop," added Khan, who leads the Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) or Movement for
    Justice party.

    Protest politics

    Sohail Mahmoud, a political analyst, told Al Jazeera that Khan was using the issue of drones to his advantage.

    "He's doing it for politics. It's a political statement," he said.

    Mahmoud pointed out that the government and all political parties in Pakistan opposed the US drone attacks before Khan started his march.

    "So he's just just playing to the public's sentiments."

    Former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who defected from the main ruling party to PTI this year, insisted the march would not be a failure if the authorities stopped it from reaching Waziristan.

    "The point is it's symbolic," he said.

    "The government is saying we are against drones. The people are saying they are against drones. What are they afraid of? Why are they blocking us?"

    Khan is accompanied by around 30 US campaigners from anti-war group CODEPINK and the British head of legal lobby organisation Reprieve, Clive Stafford Smith.

    Medea Benjamin, co-founder CODEPINK, told Al Jazeera that her group participated in the march to show that there are Americans who are opposed to the drone strikes.

    "And we hope that we'll be putting pressure on our own government to take a look at the policy and see how inhumane [drones] are," she said.

    Drones 'terrorise' civilians

    Critics of the strikes allege such attacks kill numerous innocent civilians and terrorise peaceful communities.

    A report released last month by researchers from New York University and Stanford University found that the drones "terrorise" civilians living in the tribal areas.


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

    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 certain groups 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.
    Anti-drone protest held in Pakistan - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

  18. #18
    Member Anwer Pasha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Express View Post
    You was the one who went off topic suggesting Imran Khan should save his money. At least it is his own money and of course he is entitled to do with it whatever he wants to - unlike Zardaris $$ as he has stolen off the countries coffers. There is a big difference. Zardari has looted the country and lined his own pockets. IK is spending his own money.
    Who says , Its his own money . It is public money and spending money on this march is issue of this thread . Thanks God , Night has passed safely , We should prey for safe return of these 1000 people .

  19. #19
    Member Anwer Pasha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoKeMon View Post
    1000 people is too less. I dont think with this support Imran can be president of pakistan.

    I am sorry . He is only popular on internet . He can not win a seat for NA even
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  20. #20
    Forum Administrator bilalhaider's Avatar
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    I have an objection with some of the articles here. When the international media today is highlighting the huge collateral damage from drone strikes, why do we have Pakistanis writing articles that support the CIA version of events, & taking them as Gospel Truth?

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