KARACHI, Pakistan, May 22 (UPI) -- Pakistanis, estimated in the thousands, held a sit-in in the port city of Karachi to protest U.S. drone strikes in their country, organizers said.
The Daily Times reported thousands of people from various political and religious groups took part in the Sunday protest called by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (Movement for Justice) party.
Former Pakistani cricket captain Imran Khan, who leads the party, told supporters the sit-in would be followed by a march next month from Multan to Islamabad, the Times said.
"It was time to launch a final drive for saving Pakistan," he said, adding the present government should resign and noting a "revolution has been initiated."
It was the second day of protest and CNN reported the party's objective is to stop trucks carrying NATO supplies to Afghanistan from leaving the Karachi port if the U.S. drone strikes, which target militants hiding in Pakistan tribal regions, do not end. The strikes reportedly had been supported by Pakistani authorities as part of the counterterrorism campaign.
Speaking to his supporters Sunday, Khan called the war on terror a war of aliens, claiming Pakistani leaders have supported it for U.S. dollars, the Daily Times reported.
"Besides a loss of about $68 billion, we have been deprived of basic necessities such as water, electricity and gas," he said.
He expressed no confidence in a resolution approved by the Pakistan National Assembly against the drone strike, Pakistan's News International reported.
Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, has lately seen an escalation of political, ethnic and sectarian violence, with hundreds killed.
Pakistan-U.S. relations have been particularly strained since the May 2 killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces during a raid on his compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad near Islamabad. Several militant groups have vowed to avenge his killing.