Pakistani activists participate in a long-march against the reopening of NATO supply line in Lahore, eastern Pakistan, on July 8, 2012. An alliance of dozens of religious-political parties on Sunday started a long-march against the government's decision to restore supply routes for NATO forces in Afghanistan. (Xinhua/Sajjad)
ISLAMABAD, July 8 (Xinhua) -- An alliance of dozens of religio- political parties on Sunday started a long-march against the government's decision to restore supply routes for NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Hundreds of activities of major Islamic groups and some political parties are taking part in the march that will end in Islamabad on Monday after passing through several major cities in eastern Punjab province.
Central leaders of Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC), the amalgamation of religious and political groups, are leading a long motorcade.
The march started from a mosque in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province after several leaders spoke to the supporters. They said the DPC will continue the protest against the decision of reopening NATO supply line.
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 November. The supply line was unblocked following apology by the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the loss of Pakistani security personnel.
Interior Advisor Rehman Malik said the government will not intervene if the marchers remain peaceful, but warned that violators of law will be dealt with according to the law.
The marchers will stay in the city of Gujrat on the main road between Lahore and Islamabad and resume journey on Monday morning. They would reach Islamabad Monday evening, organizers said.
Central leaders of the DPC will address gatherings on the main road between Lahore and Islamabad, which extends for about 280 kilometers in length.
Chief of the DPC Maulana Samiul Haq told the marchers that the event will be a peaceful demonstration to oppose the reopening of NATO supply line. He renewed appeal to the people to join the protest.
Leader of Jamaat-e-Islami party, Munawar Hasan, criticized the government's decision to allow its routes for NATO trucks, saying that it will involve the country in Afghan war.
He said the government violated the parliamentary recommendations which had called for imposition of tax on NATO trucks but the government opened the line without levying any transit fee on NATO containers.
Another leader of the alliance, Hafiz Saeed, regretted that the parliament in new guidelines for relationship with the United States in April had demanded the latter to halt drone strikes but the American attacks are still continuing.
He recalled that the U.S. spy aircraft again rained missiles into North Waziristan tribal region on Friday and killed 21 people.
The government has put in place security measures for the march in view of the current wave of terrorism in Pakistan. Over a thousand policemen have been deployed along the road of the march in Lahore, reported local media.
ISLAMABAD, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The first container, carrying supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan, on Thursday crossed the Pakistan-Afghanistan border three days after Pakistan unblocked the supply line, officials said.
The container entered Afghanistan via Chaman, a border city in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province, after custom clearance, border official Fazal Bari said. Full story
ISLAMABAD, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan's decision to reopen the supply routes for NATO forces into Afghanistan has eased tension with the United States but the political opposition here has raised questions on why the deal has been done in secret and why no details of the terms and conditions were revealed to the public.
Pakistan had closed the supply lines from Pakistan to Afghanistan for NATO forces in November last year to protest against the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in U.S. drone attacks in the country's border posts. Full story
ISLAMABAD, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan on Tuesday night announced that it is reopening land routes for NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan after U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, apologized over the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in last November airstrike, the country's Information Minister, Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira said.
The decision was taken at a meeting of top civilian and military leaders after series of talks between the American and Pakistani officials, the Information Minister told reporters after the meeting. Full story