Hundreds of Shi'ite Muslims January 10 gathered in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar January 10 to protest the U.S. targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Qods (Quds) Force.
Protesters held photos of the Iranian general and chanted slogans “death to America”. They also chanted slogans against Israel. The protesters burnt the effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump.
The protestors asked the government of Pakistan to clarify its stance regarding U.S.-Iran tensions; whether it stands with the U.S. or Iran. Protests were also held in some other cities of Pakistan to condemn the killing of Soleimani who died in a drone strike outside Iraq's capital Baghdad on January 3.
Prior to this, various Shi'ite groups also rallied in in Peshawar on January 3, and in the capital Islamabad and the port city of Karachi on January 5 to condemn the killing of Soleimani.
The call for the latest protest came in a news conference by an alliance of Shi'ite Muslims in Peshawar press club on January 9.
The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 5 had issued a statement saying that Pakistan will not "let its soil be used against any other state," and will not become part of "any regional conflict."
Later, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan directed his Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to undertake visits to Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States as part of his efforts to seek de-escalation in tensions in the Middle East.
Khan in his tweet on January 8 also asked the country’s military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to contact relevant military authorities to convey a clear message that "Pakistan is ready to play its role for peace but can never again be part of any war."