Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP) province will block NATO supplies in and from neighboring Afghanistan until the US holds a firm assurance to halt its deadly drone attacks.
"Come what may, we will block the NATO supplies. And we will show that to you," an emotionally-charged Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) which rules the KP province, told a press conference in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday.
Khan said he was going to move a resolution in the provincial parliament on Monday and would try to obtain a consensus on halting NATO supplies.
"Even if we lose the provincial government, we will not let the NATO supplies pass through Khyber Pakhtunkhawa," he thundered.
The cricketer-turned-politician said his provincial government would be within its right to stop NATO supplies.
"The Peshawar High Court has already passed a judgment (a year ago) directing federal government to stop NATO supplies if drone strikes were not halted," he noted.
More than 80 percent of NATO supplies trickle into neighboring Afghanistan via Pakistan’s southwestern Chaman and northwestern Torkham borders.
Torkham connects Afghanistan's Nangarhar province with KP.
Earlier today, Federal Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan accused the US of sabotaging the country's peace process by killing Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud along with his two senior lieutenants in a drone strike Friday.
"This is not the murder of a person. This is the murder of peace," he told a press conference.
"This is not an attack on an individual. This is an attack on peace process," asserted the minister.
Mehsud's killing has aborted government plans to initiate negotiations with the Taliban to bring an end to a decade-long homegrown militancy that has killed over 40,000 Pakistanis, including 4,000 security personnel.
Pakistani security forces have been placed on high alert, fearing possible reprisal attacks from Taliban.
Khan did not elaborate on the modus operandi through which his provincial government would stop the NATO supplies from Torkham.
"We have taken a definitive decision to stop NATO supplies," Naeem-ul-Haq, the vice-president of the PTI party, confirmed to Anadolu Agency.
"A strategy in this regard will soon be formulated in consultation with our allied parties in the provincial government," he added.
Haq seemed uncertain when asked whether the provincial government would stop NATO supplies by force or through legislation since the constitution stipulates that foreign policy is a federal subject.
"If 500 people stage a sit-in on the highway, the supply would automatically stopped," he answered.
When asked how long the people will remain on the road to stop NATO supplies, Haq said that his party and the provincial government would chalk out a strategy in this connection after consulting its allied parties.
KP provincial government spokesman Sheraz Paracha declined to comment on the announcement.
"No comments," he told AA.
"If we have something to tell you, we will contact you."
Pakistan had closed the NATO supplies for nearly four months following the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers at Salala check post near the Afghan border on November 26, 2011, in a US Apache helicopter strike.
The supplies were allowed back after the then US Secretary of State tendered an apology.