Hundreds of Pakistanis protested in the streets of Islamabad Monday against the possible reopening of NATO supply lines for the U.S.-led coalition forces fighting the Taliban inside Afghanistan.
At one point, the crowd chanted that friends of America are “traitors.”
Monday’s demonstration was the latest show of support for an alliance of Pakistani religious groups and parties that formed after a NATO airstrike mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border late last year.
In retaliation for the airstrike, the Pakistani government stopped allowing NATO convoys to travel through its territory to landlocked Afghanistan. Since then, Islamabad has faced pressure from Washington to reopen the supply lines.
The alliance, known as “Defense of Pakistan,” includes several organizations blacklisted at home and abroad as terrorist groups. The emergence of the alliance has raised suspicions that Pakistan’s security establishment might be supporting it for political gain at the expense of the country’s weak civilian government.