Pakistani Extremists Shout ‘Death To America’ At Islamabad Rally

Pakistani Islamist groups and political party leaders attend an anti-US protest rally in Islamabad

Several thousand Pakistanis poured onto the streets of Islamabad on Monday,  chanting “death to America” and demanding holy war at a rally whipped up by  right-wing, religious and banned organizations.
It was the latest show of support for Defense of Pakistan, a coalition of  around 40 parties chaired by a cleric dubbed the “father of the Taliban” that  includes organizations blacklisted at home and abroad as terror groups.
“Today [Monday], we have gathered here to raise a voice of protest against US  intervention in Pakistan,” chairman Maulana Sami ul Haq, who runs an extremist  madrassa that educated several Taliban leaders, said.
Also present was member Hamid Gul, who headed Pakistan’s Inter-Services  Intelligence agency during the 1980s Pakistani-sponsored war against Soviet  troops in Afghanistan that gave rise to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
His membership helped fuel suspicions that Pakistan’s security establishment  is backing the coalition as a means of exerting pressure on the weak government  and whipping up rhetoric against the unpopular US alliance.
“Our protest is against the possible resumption of NATO supplies, US and  Indian occupation and to strengthen the country’s defense,” Haq said.
“America wants to break Pakistan into pieces,” he added, in reference to a  resolution sponsored by three US lawmakers calling for self-determination in  Pakistan’s insurgency-torn southwestern province of Baluchistan.
The alliance, which uses Twitter and Facebook to promote its message, was set  up after US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border in  late November, which saw Pakistan shut its Afghan border to NATO supplies.



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