Pakistani Muslim leaders plan to march this month with roughly 30,000 followers in a “crusade” against the United States and their government’s decision to reopen the two main NATO supply routes along the Pakistan Afghanistan border.
The protesters want to march from Quetta, a border town and capital of Balochistan province, to Chaman on July 14 to 15 and then from Peshawar to Torkham Gate on July 16 to 17, said Chairman of the coalition Maulana Samiul Haq.
“This long march is against the Crusade (against us) and the Jews. This movement will continue and we will now focus on the areas from where the supply goes to NATO forces in Afghanistan,” Haq told reporters in Pakistan.
Growing anti-American sentiment has increased over the past year in the region. Reports of casualties due to U.S. drone strikes, last November’s cross border incident that led to the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers and lack of trust between U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials have hampered relations between the two allies.