Last weekend in Pakistan, Imran Khan lead a convoy of vehicles toward Waziristan which was at times over 20 kilometres long. The peace march, which I flew from Australia to attend, mobilised thousands to focus world attention on this impenetrable region and the still officially secret US drone war that is being carried out there.
According to Clive Stafford Smith, director of the legal charity Reprieve, the journey to Waziristan was Imran’s idea. According to Imran, it was Clive’s. But while they may joke around together, there is no friendly disagreement on the purpose. It was to protest drone strikes that have decimated the region and continue to kill innocent people. The strikes are not only against international law; they are also counterproductive and fuelling extremism in Pakistan. Though derided by critics as politically expedient, the peace march was an historic step in the larger global effort to lift the veil of secrecy that shrouds this extrajudicial assassination program.