Thousands of Pakistani activists marched towards the Afghan border Tuesday, condemning the Pakistani government’s decision to end a seven-month blockade on Nato supplies into Afghanistan.
The march was organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami political party, a leading member of the Defence of Pakistan coalition of right wing and Islamist groups that have demanded mass protests against the July 3 lifting of the blockade.
People gathered in Peshawar late Monday and the crowd thinned to half overnight as they camped out in a park, witnesses said.
Banners in the park read “Yes to Peace, No to Nato” and “No more Nato, no more killings of Muslims”.
Pakistan announced on July 3 that it had decided to reopen overland routes to Nato convoys crossing into Afghanistan, after they were closed following US air strikes that killed 24 soldiers on the Afghan border last November.
The Pakistani Taliban have threatened to attack Nato trucks and their drivers.
Members of the crowd told AFP on Tuesday that Islamabad’s decision to reopen the border, despite the United States eventually apologising for the deaths, was “treason”.
“The rulers have sold their blood for US dollars but we will continue to oppose it,” said Mohammad Amin, a shopkeeper from the northwestern Swat valley.