Thousands of Pakistanis protest opening of NATO supply route

ISLAMABAD Mon Jul 9, 2012 4:01pm EDT

A Pakistan national flag is mounted on the top of a fuel tanker, which was used to carry fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan, as drivers sit nearby, at a compound in Karachi July 3, 2012. REUTERS/Athar Hussain

A Pakistan national flag is mounted on the top of a fuel tanker, which was used to carry fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan, as drivers sit nearby, at a compound in Karachi July 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Athar Hussain

Related Topics

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Thousands of supporters of hardline religious groups gathered in the Pakistani capital on Monday to protest their government's decision to re-open supply lines for U.S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan.

The protest was the largest so far against the reopening of the routes. Shops closed early in Islamabad and police set up barricades and cordoned off roads.

Pakistan suspended NATO supply routes to Afghanistan last November after a cross-border NATO air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. They were re-opened last week after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized for the strike.

A survey by the Pew Research Center last month found that three out of four Pakistanis consider the U.S. an enemy, up from 69 percent last year and 64 percent three years ago.

Relations have been hurt by a series of events - the border strike, the killing of Osama bin Laden in a unilateral U.S. raid on Pakistani soil, and the fatal shooting of two armed Pakistanis by a CIA contractor.

The march was organized by the Defence of Pakistan Council, an alliance of religious political parties and organizations campaigning for a break in ties with the United States and India.

One of the group's main leaders is Hafiz Saeed, whom India suspects of masterminding attacks on India's financial capital Mumbai and its parliament. Saeed denies any involvement in the attacks.

(Reporting By Katharine Houreld)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
Pew Research center…stinks doesn’t it? Which 69% of Pakistanis are these from the 10 sample size they conducted on their street in washington? Have they ever been to Pak??? Maybe those 10 weren’t even Pakistanis…Rubbish journalism.

Jul 09, 2012 6:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JapanViewer wrote:
I speak for many in the US by saying that the US should cut Pakistan off financially, immediately, with or without the supply routes. Even better: Leave Pakistan and Afghanistan but bomb Pakistan’s nuclear facilities on the way out.

Jul 09, 2012 6:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:
CUT.

THEM.

OFF.

NOW!

Jul 09, 2012 8:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.