Police stop mob protesting outside US airbase in Jacobabad
JACOBABAD: Police stopped about 2,000 protestors from holding an anti-war demonstration outside a US airbase here on Sunday, witnesses said.
The protestors from the Muttahida Majli-e-Amal (MMA), a six-party alliance of Islamic parties, staged a rally in Jacobabad against the US-led attack in Iraq, the first here since the attacks started on Thursday.
The protestors tried to march towards the well-guarded Shahbaz Airbase in Jacobabad, which is exclusively being used by the US-led coalition troops for operations in Afghanistan. Police however forced the protesters to change their course.
The marchers, chanting anti-US slogans, moved on to another part of the town and blocked traffic with a sit-in protest.
They also torched US flags and effigies of US President George W Bush.
“We are with the Iraqi people, while the government is supporting the United States,” said local MMA leader Asadullah Bhutto.
Pakistan is a key US ally in the 18-month US-led war on terrorism but has said it “deplored” the military action in Iraq.
“The attack on Iraq is aimed at capturing billions of barrels of oil,” another MMA leader, AG Ansari, said.
The rally demanded the total withdrawal of US troops from Jacobabad and other military bases in Pakistan and appealed to people to boycott all American products.
The US-led coalition has been using at least three airbases in Pakistan to carry out operations in Afghanistan against Taliban and Al-Qaeda remnants for the past 18 months. —AFP