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Quetta protests

Quetta, Nov. 14 (Reuters): Pakistani protesters burned the US flag and called for a strike in the home town of a Muslim militant due to be executed in the United States.

Pakistani Mir Aimal Kansi was scheduled to die by lethal injection in Virginia for the murders of two CIA employees in 1993.

“Aimal is our hero!” about 150 members of Kansi’s tribe chanted as they marched through the streets of the central city of Quetta, not far from the border with Afghanistan. “Aimal is not a terrorist,” tribal elder Ibrahim Kansi told demonstrators. “His action was a reaction to what was happening to Muslims in Chechnya and Palestine.”

Tribal leaders called for a strike in Quetta tomorrow if the execution went ahead. Other activists protested in the central town of Multan and called for the sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment.

“The death sentence on Aimal Kansi exposes American claims of being a champion of human rights,” a speaker there said.

Only a reprieve from the US Supreme Court or Virginia Governor Mark Warner — considered unlikely — can stop Kansi’s execution at Virginia’s Greensville Correctional Center.

His mother and the Pakistani government have asked Warner to show mercy.

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