Thousands hold rally in Pakistan condemning U.S. policies

12:27, September 29, 2010      

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Thousands of people Tuesday took part in an anti-U.S. rally in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, demanding the release of a Pakistani neurologist, who was convicted by an American court last week over charges of attacking on the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

On Thursday, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was convicted after a jury trial in a U.S. federal court, of assault with intent to murder her U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan's Ghazni province.

The verdict sparked protest across Pakistan with condemnation by the government and almost all opposition parties, rights groups, students, lawyers and members of civil society.

Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a powerful group of Urdu- speaking population, held a huge rally in Karachi and the demonstrators demanded immediate release of Dr Siddiqui, who was handed down a 86-year term in jail.

Dr. Siddiqui's family rejected charges against her and alleged that the former government of President Pervez Musharraf had handed her over to the United States.

The MQM founder Altaf Hussain, who is in exile in London, spoke to the rally on phone and condemned the U.S. court's decision and said the whole nation is demanding release of Dr Siddiqui.

Hussain lashed out at the U.S. policies and said that Washington should justify its attack on Iran, adding that tens of thousands of people were killed in Iran under false claims.

The demonstrators were holding photographs of Dr. Siddiqui and banners, inscribed with demands for her release. A large number of women also participated in the first ever biggest anti-U.S. rally since the last week conviction of Siddiqui.

Hussain also condemned U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, saying that women and children are killed in these attacks and asked the U.S. authorities to justify its attacks in Pakistan.

"Who will punish those who are killing innocent people in strikes by drone aircraft," he questioned.

Source: Xinhua


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