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Monday, 11 November, 2002, 23:57 GMT
Pakistanis in death row protest
Protesters in Karachi demanding the extradition of Aimal Kansi
Protesters in Karachi demanded Kansi's extradition
Pakistan is tightening security in Baluchistan as protests grow over the planned execution of a local man in the United States.

Aimal Khan Kanis (also known as Mir Aimal Kansi) is due to die by lethal injection on Thursday in Virginia, where he was convicted of shooting dead two members of the American Central Intelligence Agency outside its headquarters.

Anti-American protests in Baluchistan.
Baluchistan has seen many anti-American protests
Religious and tribal leaders in Baluchistan are calling on Islamabad and Washington to commute the sentence.

There have already been warnings of an Islamic backlash if the execution goes ahead.

Anti-American feelings

The US State Department warned last week that Kansi's execution could trigger retaliatory attacks on US or other foreign interests overseas.

The warnings were echoed Monday in the state of Punjab, as more than 200 people chanting anti-American slogans protested in the city of Multan.

A statement issued after the protest said: "There will be an extremely horrible reaction in the Islamic world if Aimal Kansi is executed, and it will be strongly resisted".

The leader of Kansi's tribe, Nawab Abdul Zahir Khan Kansi, appealed to President George Bush to show mercy.

Plea for tolerance

He said the tribe regretted the killings, but added that US policies were to blame for hatred of the United States.

He also said: "Every religion preaches the lesson of tolerance and we expect tolerance and mercy from President Bush and the American nation for Aimal Kansi".

Kansi was convicted five years ago for the 1993 killings of intelligence analyst Lansing Bennett and undercover agent Frank Darling in a shooting spree outside CIA headquarters in Virginia.

Kansi fled to Pakistan after the 1993 killings but was captured and returned to the US.

See also:

07 Nov 02 | Americas
09 Oct 02 | Country profiles
30 Oct 02 | Middle East
12 Oct 02 | Middle East
16 Nov 97 | In Depth
03 Nov 97 | Americas
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