Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was swept into office earlier this year on a campaign promise to end US drone strikes. As his government has failed to deliver on that, he is instead turning on the protesters trying to impose a de facto blockade on NATO supplies.
Officials from the PM’s office say that he has issued a statement demanding the organizer of the protesters, Pakistani Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) party leader Imran Khan, end the sit-ins and demonstrations, claiming they are “damaging the national economy.”
Khan is unlikely to give in on that, however, and so Sharif has also ordered the inspector general of the police to begin drawing up plans to forcibly end the protests on “national security” grounds.
Since the election, Sharif has issued a few statements demanding the US end the drone strikes, but as the missiles continue to rain down on Pakistan, there is growing speculation that he is following the same strategy as his predecessors, criticizing the strikes while secretly endorsing them in an effort to curry favor with the US.