Pakistani Shi’ites Protest Soleimani’s Assassination

Hundreds of Shi’ite Muslims on January 10 gathered in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar to protest the U.S. assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force — an elite unit in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Protesters chanted “Death to America” and held photos of Soleimani, who was killed January 3 in a U.S. air strike outside Baghdad. They also chanted slogans against Israel, and burnt an effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The protests were organized by an alliance of Shi’ite Muslims in Peshawar that called on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to back Shi’ite Iran in its dispute with the United States.

Protests were also held in other cities in Pakistan.

They followed similar protests by Shi’ite groups on January 3 and January 5 in the capital, Islamabad, and in the port city of Karachi.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry on January 5 issued a statement saying that Islamabad will not “let its soil be used against any other state,” and will not become part of “any regional conflict.”

Khan later instructed Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to visit Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States to seek de-escalation in regional tensions.

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