And yet we send these people billions of our tax dollars every year.
(AFP) — Pakistanis poured onto Islamabad’s streets Monday, chanting “death to America” and demanding holy war at a rally whipped up by right-wing, religious and banned organisations linked to Al-Qaeda.
It was the latest show of support for Defence of Pakistan, a coalition of around 40 parties chaired by a cleric dubbed the father of the Taliban that include organisations blacklisted at home and abroad as terror groups.
Allah Buksh, a senior police official, said 2,500 attended the demonstration as it got underway, but witnesses estimated the crowd at 3,500 as hundreds of riot police, armed with batons and wearing bullet-proof jackets stood guard.
“Today, 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, told AFP.
Also present was member Hamid Gul, who headed Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency during the 1980s US and Pakistani-sponsored war against Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
His membership has 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.