ISLAMABAD, July 7 (Xinhua) -- An alliance of dozens of religio- political parties on Saturday appealed to the masses to participate in a long-march against the government's decision to restore supply line for NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The march will begin from the eastern city of Lahore in Punjab on Sunday and terminate at the capital Islamabad after crossing several major cities.
Pakistan announced the reopening of NATO supply line after a nearly seven-month closure over the killing of 24 soldiers in a NATO airstrike in last November. The supply line was unblocked following apology by the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the losses of Pakistani security personnel.
Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC), the amalgamation of religious and political groups, urged the traders, lawyers, students, members of the civil society, political activists and general public to join the long-march to express anger at the government's decision.
Chairman of the DPC, Maulana Samiul Haq, said that those living near the NATO routes should also come out on the roads to join the protest.
"The government should also assist us for the sake of the independence of judiciary, democracy and to save the country," he told a news conference in Lahore.
Haq earlier presided over an All Parties Conference convened by the DPC to muster support of other political parties against reopening NATO supply line.
He added that the protest movement will be "peaceful" to mount pressure on the government to desist from involving Pakistan in the war in Afghanistan.
The long march will begin at 10:00 a.m. local time on Sunday from Nasir Bagh in Lahore and will head towards Islamabad. All central leaders of the DPC will address meetings on the main road between Lahore and Islamabad.
"Pakistan can only survive after getting rid of U.S. slavery," he said, adding that the government ignored the parliamentary recommendations by unconditionally allowing the NATO to use Pakistani land routes. He said the parliament in new guidelines for relationship with the United States had demanded the latter to halt drone strikes, but the U.S. attacks are still continuing.
The DPC in a resolution condemned Friday's U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan tribal region, which killed 21 people. The resolution asked the government to take up the issue of U.S. drone strikes with the Americans as innocent people are being killed in these attacks.
Haq said the nation was astonished at the government's decision to give up its demand for tax on NATO trucks. He said the country' s road infrastructure has been badly damaged by NATO containers, but the government withdrew its earlier proposal for levying transit fee on all NATO vehicles.