Some criticized Khan's PTI for the march, accusing him of organizing it to garner votes in the upcoming parliamentary election and failing to sufficiently criticize Army operations or Taliban atrocities.
The Code Pink delegation seemed largely unaware of local political dynamics that they were walking into. Joe Lombardo, co-chair of the United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC) and a participant at the rally, says members of the delegation did observe the sensitive political dynamics, but adds that their role was limited to strongly registering their opposition to American-led drone attacks.
“We need to make sure that the atrocities carried out by our government [are] stopped,” says Mr. Lombardo.
Dressed in pink and holding banners saying “Stop Killer Drones,” Code Pink's delegation made V-signs and sang “We're marching to Waziristan” and “We're hoping for a drone-free world” at a rally organized in Islamabad, before taking off on a 14-hour bus ride from the capital the following day.
With their coordinated colors, the delegation of Americans said they were ready to risk their lives for killings caused by their government, thousands of miles away from their homes in the United States.
“I’m 71 years old [and] I’m ready to die for this cause," said Linda Welling, a member of Code Pink from Portland, Ore., leaning back in her seat in a bus plastered with pictures of children killed in American drone attacks.
“How is our government any better than the militants we battle?” asks Joan Nicholson, a 78-year-old member of Code Pink who was once arrested in Washington for shouting “We are a terrorist nation!”