NEW YORK - Opposition leader Imran Khan-led peace march, which was turned back from the gates of South Waziristan on Sunday, received good coverage in the US print and electronic media, with a major newspaper noting that PTI is the only party to have staged a big event so close to the restive region."Mr. Khan led a motorcade that included thousands of supporters and a contingent of American peace activists to the edge of the South Waziristan tribal agency and then returned to the town of Tank, 11 miles away, where he held his rally," The New York Times said in a dispatch from Tank."Mr. Khan’s supporters said their 'peace march' offered a new focus for Pakistani anger over the Obama administration’s controversial drone campaign in Pakistan’s border areas, which has killed up to 3,300 people, including as many as 880 civilians, since 2004, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, which tracks drone strikes," according to The Times. "Critics derided the event as little more than a political stunt that capitalized on widespread anti-Americanism in Pakistan and was intended to lift Mr. Khan’s wavering political fortunes."But the Times said, "Still, Mr. Khan’s rally in Tank was notable in that no other political party has managed to hold such a large event so close to the restive tribal region."The charismatic Mr. Khan has emerged on Pakistan’s political landscape as a populist figure, tapping into widespread anger over what many see as government corruption and deep anti-American sentiments. He has criticized both American drone strikes and Pakistani military operations in the tribal region. He advocates peace talks with the Taliban and other militants."Over the weekend, he was joined by three dozen American peace activists from the anti-war group Codepink and other foreigners, including Clive Stafford Smith, the founder of the British human rights group Reprieve, and Lauren Booth, a convert to Islam and the sister-in-law of former Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain," the Times said."Mr. Khan has struggled to sustain the public’s interest created by a series of large rallies in late 2011; liberals call him “Taliban Khan” for his muted criticism of the Taliban. A recent survey by the International Republican Institute said that Mr. Khan’s popularity had fallen by 22precent since last February." “The rally has caught people’s imagination,” Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, a former foreign minister and a leader of PTI, was quoted as saying, noting the enthusiastic response of the people who watched the motorcade pass."When Mr. Khan introduced the American activists, the crowd responded by chanting "Welcome, welcome". Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of Codepink, said, “We are here to say from the bottoms of our hearts that we are sorry for the actions of our government.” Other American activists at the rally condemned the drone strikes as inhumane and illegal.The Washington Post wrote: "It was remarkable that Khan, a candidate for prime minister, even got past Tank, the last major town before the border of South Waziristan. Since 2009, when the army launched major operations against the Pakistani Taliban and other factions, access to the semiautonomous tribal areas has been strictly controlled by the military."Khan had wanted to stage his “peace march” in Kotkai, the home town of Hakimullah Mehsud, head of the Pakistani Taliban. His party estimated that as many as 100,000 would attend, but perhaps a tenth of that number arrived for the procession, forming traffic backups for miles."Although most drone strikes now occur in North Waziristan, South Waziristan is where, in 2004, missiles from the remote-controlled aircraft hit their first target, militant leader Nek Mohammad Wazir."The day turned out to be a disappointment for Codepink, which, like Khan, says the CIA’s eight-year drone campaign has caused considerable civilian casualties and spurred tribesmen to take up arms with the insurgents, who are battling to impose Islamic law, or sharia, on Pakistan. U.S. officials say the vast majority of those killed in drone attacks have been militants."The 32 Americans had travelled for 13 hours Saturday from the capital, Islamabad, to reach the impoverished region about 290 miles to the west, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. They rode in two white vans festooned with grisly posters of children whose families said they had been killed by drone-fired missiles... "The majority-female delegation — in their early 20s to late 70s — travelled with no security guards despite announced militant threats against them and Khan, head of the Pakistan Justice Movement political party. They fell in line behind Khan’s procession as legions joyously waved party flags atop trucks.By late Saturday, when the Codepink delegates finally reached a large farm belonging to a regional party official, they were mobbed by an admiring Pakistani media and given a hero’s welcome by hundreds of the candidate’s fans."Anti-American sentiment runs extremely high in Pakistan, but the delegation focused on a simple message: 'We are against drones' was emblazed in Urdu in green fluorescent script, outlined with glitter, on the oversize white bibs they wore.“You hit people with these drones and you create instant enemies,” said JoAnne Lingle, a silver-haired Mennonite from Indianapolis. “It’s supposed to be increasing our national security and it’s doing the opposite.”"Her church raised money to send her to Pakistan. She persuaded the pastor to let her bring in a replica drone: 'He gave a wonderful sermon on why we needed to do this as Christians,” she was quoted as saying.