First phase of Imaran's anti-drone rally peaceful

The first phase of an anti-drone rally in Pakistan organised by Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has ended peacefully.

Imran Khan, who is leading a convoy of hundreds of vehicles, has vowed to reach South Waziristan, where the rally would culminate, Xinhua reported.

Saturday's peace rally kicked off from cities such as Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, amid Taliban threats to carry our suicide bomb attacks on the participants.

The Taliban has accused the Tehreek-e-Insaf party of being sympathizers of the Jews and the Christians.

However, the former cricketer told a large gathering in Dera Ismail Khan Saturday that the rally was only to attract the world's attention to the drone attacks.

The convoy from Islamabad reached the main town of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province late Saturday after a 12-hour journey. Imran Khan said the drone strikes are killing civilians.

A group of Americans are also participating along with dozens of foreign journalists who are covering the event.

Taliban has distributed pamphlets in South Waziristan and other places, warning of attacks on the marchers. Copies of the pamphlets have also been sent to the media.

"We request the people of Waziristan not to support the gangs of Jews and Christians otherwise their fate will be horrible. We, the Tehrik-e-Taliban, will greet them with suicide attacks," Xinhua quoted the pamphlet as saying.

The Urdu-language pamphlet was issued by the Punjab faction of the Taliban, considered close to the Al Qaeda.

The Waziristan region, bordering Afghanistan, has been a stronghold of the Taliban and has seen violent clashes between militants and the security forces.

The US has recently intensified its drone strikes against the militants in the region, which has stoked anti-American sentiments in the country.

The government said the marchers will not be allowed to enter South Waziristan. The authorities have blocked roads to South Waziristan at Tank, a major city at the border of the province. 

Imran Khan claimed his rivals are trying to stop his rally and said the local tribesmen have announced their support and he does not need security from the government and Taliban.  

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