Club—wielding activists from Imran Khan’s political party forcibly searched trucks for NATO supplies in northwest Pakistan on Sunday in protest at deadly US drone strikes.
Around 100 workers from the former cricket star’s Pakistan Tehreek—e—Insaaf (PTI) party set up checkpoints in the northwestern city of Peshawar on a main road leading to Afghanistan.
They stopped trucks and hauled drivers from their cabs to check their paperwork, following a call by Khan at a rally on Saturday to block supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan in protest at the drone attacks.
The activists, carrying the PTI’s green and red flag, broke open truck containers to check their contents, an AFP reporter at the scene said.
The PTI heads the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital. But authority for the highways lies with the federal government, which has so far made no move to block NATO supplies.
Muhammad Faisal, a senior police official, said the PTI activists’ actions were illegal but he was powerless to act.
“The protesters are doing unlawful acts by checking documents and screening goods, they don’t have authority,” he told AFP.
“But we can’t take action against them because we have no instructions from the government. If the government orders us, we will stop this illegal activity.”
PTI activist Asghar Khalil, 28, told AFP they were heeding their leader’s call to action and would not stop until Washington promised to end drone strikes.
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