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August 29, 2017

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Trump's anti-Pak tirades: Protest rallies staged across country

Trump's anti-Pak tirades: Protest rallies staged across country

PESHAWAR: Protests were staged in the provincial metropolis, other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), Balochsitan and Punjab on Monday against the new policy of the United States for the region. The protesters vented anger at US President Donald Trump’s last week speech wherein he accused Pakistan of offering safe havens to “agents of chaos” and invited Pakistan’s arch-rival India to play a bigger role in Afghanistan.

The activists from various political parties organised a procession in the provincial metropolis to register their protest. Led by MPA Ziaullah Afridi, the protesters marched from Surey Pull to the Governor’s House. Carrying banners and placards, the protesters chanted slogans against the US president and his allies. The elected councillors from PK-1, Peshawar, also participated in the protest.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) dissident MPA Ziaullah Afridi criticised the party’s chairman Imran Khan, saying he should have announced countrywide protests against the US president. He said Imran Khan had launched a campaign against the US drone attacks in Pakistan but had now adopted mysterious silence.

Ziaullah Afridi said that the US and India had forged an alliance against Pakistan and they were bent upon sabotaging peace in this country but the people and Pakistan Army would never allow them to succeed in their designs.

He said the US president and his administration should acknowledge Pakistan’s government and army’s efforts against terrorism. The US, he said, should recognise the sacrifices of the Pakistanis who laid down their lives in the war against terrorism.

Meanwhile, the tribesmen in Khyber Agency staged a protest at the Pak-Afghan border at Torkham. A number of tribal people from all the three tehsils of Khyber Agency, including tribal elders, political workers, students and members of the civil society, participated in the protest rally.

The protesters were holding Pakistani flags and banners inscribed with slogans. They marched from Charwazgai till the Torkham border where the rally culminated into a public meeting. Earlier, a number of tribal elders, political leaders and youths from all the three tehsils of Khyber Agency marched from Bara and Jamrud to reach Torkham where residents from Landikotal also joined them.

The speakers including Malik Waris Khan Afridi, Malik Darya Khan, Maulana Shoaib, Shahid Shinwari, Malik Duran Gul and others lambasted President Trump for his hostile speech against Pakistan in which he highlighted a false narrative.

They reminded him that Pakistan had suffered heavily during the war on terror andwas making sincere efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. The speakers urged the Afghan people to compel their rulers not to let Afghanistan’s soil be used against Pakistan.

The protesters set on fire an effigy of President Trump and the US flag before dispersing peacefully. The protesting tribesmen gathered at the Mian Mandi, Ghallanai and Atta Bazaar and blocked the Bajaur-Peshawar road for all kinds of traffic.

They were chanting slogans against the US and asking the government to rethink its foreign policy and adopt an independent stand on all the issues. The protesters said that US had joined the anti-Pakistan alliance that included India and Afghanistan.

They asked the government to sever diplomatic ties with US, adding that Pakistan should not serve the US interest in the region. The protesters in Khar were chanting slogans against the US, India and Israel for hatching conspiracies against Pakistan. They said blaming Pakistan for the lawlessness in Afghanistan won’t bring peace in the neighbouring country.

The speakers said that US president wanted to scapegoat Pakistan for his country’s failure in Afghanistan. Maulana Abdur Rashid, Said Badshah, Maulana Muhammad Laiq, Qari Mustafa and others said that the religious forces in Pakistan would respond fiercely if the US dared to make Pakistan’s frontiers insecure.

They alleged that the US had sheltered anti-Pakistan elements in the border areas of Afghanistan to destabilise Pakistan. They asked the US to take action against the anti-Pakistan forces in Afghanistan before making more demands from Pakistan.

In Hangu, the residents staged protest against the anti-Pakistan policy of the US and the recent diatribe by President Trump in his speech. Led by Maulana Abdul Jalil and Shah Faisal, the protesters marched from Ada Masjid to the Hangu Press Club.

They were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the US. They alleged that the US, India and Afghanistan wanted to isolate Pakistan at the international level and vowed to oppose any move that would harm Pakistan.

In Karak, the Anjuman Tajiran-e-Karak held a protest rally against President Trump for making baseless allegations against Pakistan and giving India a bigger role in Afghanistan in a bid to put pressure on Islamabad. The protesters were led by Anjuman Tajiran-e-Karak district President Gul Razi Khan Khattak.

The procession turned into a big public meeting at Saddam Chowk after passing through different parts of the city. The protesters shouted slogans against the US president and vowed to defend Pakistan at all costs.

A similar protest was also held in Chaman, Balochistan, where various political parties, tribesmen and members of the civil society gathered near the Pak-Afghan border to voice their anger over the US president’s speech.

Waving national flags, the protesters walked through various parts of the city while chanting slogans against Trump. A protest rally was also held in Balochistan’s Kohlu area, where tribesmen passed through the city and shouted anti-US slogans.

In Sibi, tribesmen, members of civil society and political party workers also took to the streets to condemn the US president’s stance against Pakistan, while vowing to defend the country against any external threats. The people in Panjgur also took to the streets protesting the statement of US President Donald Trump against Pakistan.

Similar rallies were also organised in Zhob, Dera Murad Jamali, Swat, Dera Bugti and Chagai. Bannu, Kurram Agency, and Kohat also witnessed the anti-Trump protests. In big cities of Punjab rallies were brought out to condemn the Trump's offensive policy towards Pakistan. In Rawalpindi a rally was brought out from Comittee Chowk and marched on Murree Road till Faizabad.

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