July 9 - Thousands of supporters gathered in the Pakistani to protest the government's decision to re-open supply lines for NATO troops in Afghanistan. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Thousands of supporters of hardline religious groups gathered in the Pakistani capital on Monday (July 9) to protest their government's decision to re-open supply lines for U.S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan The protest was the largest so far against the re-opening of the routes. Shops closed early in Islamabad and police set up barricades and cordoned off roads. Pakistan suspended NATO supply routes to Afghanistan last November after a cross-border NATO air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. They were re-opened last week after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized for the strike. The protest march, which began from the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday (July 8), streamed to Islamabad in buses, cars and on motorcycles with brief stopovers at the cities and towns on the way. The march was organized by the Defence of Pakistan Council, an alliance of over 40 religious political parties and organizations campaigning for a break in ties with the United States and India. A Reuters cameraman traveling with the march said many of the buses driving to the capital were only half-full, with a few men sitting on top of the bus to make them appear over-flowing. After reaching Islamabad, the march culminated peacefully around midnight after the protest leaders delivered their speeches. Relations have been hurt by the border strike, the killing of Osama bin Laden and the fatal shooting of two armed Pakistanis by a CIA contractor.