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General News    H2'ed 10/8/12

American delegation will fast in Islamabad to atone for U.S. drone strikes

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For Immediate Release


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Contact:

Medea Benjamin, medea@codepink.org +923.365.978.798  
Alli McCracken, alli@codepink.org +923.419.853.545

Video Footage of the Peace March Rally: http://vimeo.com/50975966 

Photos of the Delegation in Pakistan: www.codepink.org/stopdronesphotos

More than a dozen American peace delegates visiting Pakistan to witness the damage wrought by U.S. drone attacks will fast from sunrise to sunset Tuesday, Oct. 9, in front of the Islamabad Press Club, Sector F-6.  They will sing songs of peace, display pictures of the more than 160 Pakistani children who have been killed by American drones, and extend a message of peace and solidarity to passersby.

"We are very aware that there is a deep and justified feeling among Muslims worldwide that the Western world does not understand or respect them," said Jody Mackey, who is active with  the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Olympia, WA; before traveling to Pakistan, she was in Kabul with the Afghan Peace Volunteers. "It seems only appropriate that we express our sorrow for the horrific damage we have done to innocent Pakistani people, particularly those in Waziristan, by fasting according to the Islamic tradition followed during Ramadan."

The Americans are among a delegation of 31 who joined political leader Imran Khan and other Pakistanis at a rally against U.S. drone strikes in Hatala, Pakistan, near the border between D.I. Khan and South Waziristan. This was the first time that the Pakistani government has admitted foreigners into the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in nearly a decade.

"I have never fasted before, but I want to do this as a small, symbolic act to express my solidarity with the Pakistani people and my commitment to educate my fellow Americans upon my return home about the human impact of our foreign policy," said Pam Bailey, a freelance journalist from Alexandria, VA. "We will do everything we can to lobby our government to stop violating Pakistani sovereignty and destroying the lives of innocents."

Delegates are available for interviews, and updates from the trip along with multimedia content are regularly posted on Drones Watch.org.

 

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