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Pakistan political party ends NATO supply blockade.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Rabi'II 27, 1435, Feb 27, 2014, SPA -- The ruling political party of Pakistan's northwest said Thursday it ended a more than three-month blockade of a NATO supply route to Afghanistan over contentious U.S. drone strikes in the country, AP reported.

The Tehreek-e-Insaf party, led by cricket star turned politician Imran Khan, had been blocking the route since November to pressure Washington to end drone attacks targeting Islamic militants in northwest Pakistan. Khan himself has led these protests and has been a vocal critic of drone attacks in Pakistan.

In a statement, Khan's party said it ended the protest after seeing a change in U.S. drone policy. Their decision also comes days after a Pakistani court ordered authorities to end the blockade of transit goods into landlocked Afghanistan.

The party's top leadership also "felt that the pressure of the blockade had already resulted in a shift in the Obama administration's drone policy and as a result drones had been stopped for the present," the statement read. It also said it ended the protest to respect the court order.

Party official Fiaz Ahmad Khalil said the blockade lasted 97 days.

"We are happy that the American government has stopped drone attacks, and we are also positively responding by ending our protest," Khalil said.

Khan's party launched the blockade after a U.S. drone strike in November killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban.

! PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Rabi'II 27, 1435, Feb 27, 2014, SPA -- The ruling political party of Pakistan's northwest said Thursday it ended a more than three-month blockade of a NATO supply route to Afghanistan over contentious U.S. drone strikes in the country, AP reported.

The Tehreek-e-Insaf party, led by cricket star turned politician Imran Khan, had been blocking the route since November to pressure Washington to end drone attacks targeting Islamic militants in northwest Pakistan. Khan himself has led these protests and has been a vocal critic of drone attacks in Pakistan.

In a statement, Khan's party said it ended the protest after seeing a change in U.S. drone policy. Their decision also comes days after a Pakistani court ordered authorities to end the blockade of transit goods into landlocked Afghanistan.

The party's top leadership also "felt that the pressure of the blockade had already resulted in a shift in the Obama administration's drone policy and as a result drones had been stopped for the present," the statement read. It also said it ended the protest to respect the court order.

Party official Fiaz Ahmad Khalil said the blockade lasted 97 days.

"We are happy that the American government has stopped drone attacks, and we are also positively responding by ending our protest," Khalil said.

Khan's party launched the blockade after a U.S. drone strike in November killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban.

-- SPA 21:00 LOCAL TIME 18:00 GMT

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Publication:Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 27, 2014
Words:497
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