Pakistani Imran Khan against Bush’s war

This video is called CNN: Imran KhanDrone attacks benefit al Qaeda’.

From British daily The Independent:

Imran Khan: Still pushing the boundaries

Pakistan‘s former cricket captain turned politician believes his marginal party can win an election. But is talk of taking on the US with arms really the way forward? Cole Moreton meets… Imran Khan

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Khan: ‘Innocent people are dying. There are no morals in this war

If Imran Khan were in the mountains now he would, he says, be ready for a fight. “If my women… my wife, my family, was hurt by a bomb, or killed, I would pick up a gun.” To shoot Americans, he means. Or the soldiers of Pakistan, his homeland and the country he still aspires to lead. It is a remarkable thing for a man like him to say, and when he does so, his heavily lined face looks as grim as you might expect. “The American attitude is shocking,” he says. “All they want is obedient slaves.”

This is not some inflamed Taliban leader. Imran Khan is the former playboy of the Western world, one of the greatest cricketers of all time and one of the few whose fame has transcended the sport. Particularly when the handsome all-rounder gave up his much-chronicled single life to marry the equally attractive Jemima Goldsmith, daughter of the late Sir James and herself a favourite of the gossip mags. They are now divorced, but their two young sons, Sulaiman Isa and Kasim, are waiting somewhere across the Thames for Khan to rejoin them for the half-term holiday.

First he must talk politics, because that is what he does these days. Imran Khan is in London to drum up money for the party he founded, and to tell people about the crisis engulfing his country. “The army is fighting against its own people. This is civil war.”

The rupee is plummeting. The government has been given $15bn to save it from financial meltdown, which cannot be allowed to happen to a nation that borders Afghanistan and has nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, America is pounding the tribal areas of the North West Frontier, which it believes is a nest of terrorists, and it is insisting the Pakistan army joins in, too. “Innocent people are dying,” says Khan in a deep voice, that of someone who assumes he will be listened to. “There are no morals in this war.”

Just as our conversation began he was told of reports that a US drone had fired missiles on a village, killing eight children. It was after that he said yes, if he were one of those tribal people he would feel justified in taking up arms.

Why? He tells me about a colleague in his constituency close to the frontier region, who was travelling with his family in two Jeeps. “Pakistani helicopter gunship comes on top [overhead]. The instructions are that the moment the helicopter gunship comes you stop your cars, get out and put your hands up. This is in your homeland, OK?” We are at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a grand building on the Thames, but his mind is in the mountains. “So they all did that. They all stopped the cars, got out and put their hands up. The guy came back and bombed them. He showed me the pictures. His six-year-old son lost both his legs. His brother gets killed. His brother’s son gets killed.”

Khan, 56, has a powerful presence, even from the far side of a wide boardroom table. “This man says, ‘I love Pakistan, but now where do I go for justice? Is there a court of law that will compensate me? No.’ He said, ‘I would pick up a gun now and fight. And who will I pick up a gun for? The Taliban. I don’t like the Taliban. But I will join them, because that is how I will seek justice.’ That is what is happening, every day.”

US carries out more airstrikes in Pakistan: here.

Musharraf summoned: here.

7 thoughts on “Pakistani Imran Khan against Bush’s war


    U.S. kills 25 in Afghanistan
    All those killed in late Friday’s attack were civilians and belonged to one family.

    U.S. kills 27 in Pakistan
    The new strikes raised the number of such attacks to at least 17 since August. . . . Residents frequently contend that civilians, sometimes women and children, are among the dead.

    In Afghanistan, the loudest sound is the clock ticking
    “I don’t think that even the little kids like us.”

    Afghanistan is resistance magnet
    ‘If you want to join the jihad, go to Afghanistan.’,0,1646596.story



    Pak PM says US’ raids ‘disastrous’ in int’l community’s eyes

    South East Asia News.Net
    Sunday 2nd November, 2008 (ANI)

    Islamabad, Nov 2 : Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the ongoing US’ air raids were “disastrous” in the eyes of the world, and that he would soon take up the matter with the US’ ambassador Anne Patterson.

    Asking the world leaders to dissuade NATO and US forces from such incursions, Gilani said claimed that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had also assured him that he would take up the matter with NATO.

    “The world supported Pakistan’s stand that air strikes by American and NATO forces were counter-productive”, the Dawn quoted the prime minister as saying while addressing press persons on his return from Turkey.

    He said the international community was aware of the challenges that Pakistan had been facing because of being a key US ally in the war on terror.

    About the possible world aid to his country in the wake of the ongoing economic crisis, he said: “The whole world is thinking of helping Pakistan in the present economic crisis as they have great feelings for Pakistan.”

    About fears that Islamabad had accepted hard IMF conditionalities to get billions of dollars in loans, the prime minister said that international financial institutions should not place unacceptable conditions while giving loans.

    He, however, said that the PPP government would do whatever was in the “best interest” of the nation. The ‘Friends of Pakistan’ could not hand over cash in just one sitting as they had their own systems which required fulfilment of some formalities, added Gilani.


  3. Pakistan warns US commander over missile strikes
    November 4, 2008, 12:55 am
    Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani shakes hands with the new commander of US forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, General David Petraeus in Islamabad. The Pakistani leader has warned Petraeus that missile strikes on Pakistani territory were “counterproductive” and detrimental to the ‘war on terror.’ AFP © [Enlarge photo]

    ISLAMABAD (AFP) – President Asif Ali Zardari warned the new US commander for Iraq and Afghanistan on Monday that missile strikes on Pakistani territory were “counterproductive” and detrimental to the ‘war on terror.’

    The most high-profile protest yet from Islamabad came as General David Petraeus made his first visit here since he took over the position last week, amid claims that it could signal a shift in strategy in Afghanistan .

    “Continuing drone attacks on our territory, which result in loss of precious lives and property, are counterproductive and difficult to explain by a democratically-elected government,” Zardari said.

    “It is creating a credibility gap,” the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan quoted him as saying.

    The series of strikes by unmanned drones against suspected Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants hiding in Pakistan’s tribal badlands bordering Afghanistan have raised tensions between the two countries.

    Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar earlier told Petraeus that Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected, warning that future incidents could affect the battle for hearts and minds.

    “The frequent drone attacks could lead to generate anti-America sentiments as well as create outrage and uproar among the people,” Mukhtar’s department said in a statement.

    Former Pakistani general and defence analyst Talat Masood said Petraeus’ visit could not be underplayed — and was a sign of the increasing focus on Pakistan and disquiet about strategy to combat insurgents in Afghanistan .

    By appointing Petraeus, a counter-insurgency specialist widely credited for for progress in the Iraq conflict, Masood said the United States was signalling that it believes “it is not winning in Afghanistan”.

    ” General Petraeus is a professional, he knows it is a different war, he understands the dynamics and he may prevail upon the current and the next US administration to review the policy,” he added.

    “He is probably the most suited person to bring a new and fresh approach in Afghanistan and in the tribal belt.”

    A US Embassy spokesman played down claims that Petraeus was here because of fears at a spiral of Islamist violence that has seen a wave of deadly Taliban and Al-Qaeda suicide attacks, civil unrest and a crippled economy.

    “This was a regular scheduled visit. This is something that has been on the books for quite some time,” acting US embassy spokesman Wes Robertson told AFP.

    Petraeus, who was joined by Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and ambassador Anne Patterson, also met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and military top brass.

    Pakistan’s security breakdown — and what to do about it — has become an election issue in the race for the White House, which culminates Tuesday when voters go to the polls.

    Democratic hopeful Barack Obama has said that US forces should act against militants inside Pakistani territory, including Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden , if Pakistan was “unable or unwilling to take them out.”

    But his Republican rival, John McCain , warned against such a strategy, instead urging cooperation and coordination between the two allies.

    Bilateral tensions saw Patterson herself called in to the Pakistan foreign ministry last Wednesday to register its opposition to the missile strikes.

    But just two days later, two separate strikes killed 32 mainly Al-Qaeda operatives, according to Pakistani security sources.

    All the strikes have been blamed on US-led coalition forces or CIA-operated drones based in neighbouring Afghanistan , where US troops are engaged in escalating fighting with Taliban and other militants.

    A US official said last week that Washington is looking at negotiating with “reconcilable” members of the Taliban in Afghanistan who are prepared to give up violence and respect the Afghan constitution.


  4. Former president could face arrest

    Pakistan: Police have said that the former president faces arrest if he returns to the country.

    Pervez Musharraf, who currently resides in London, imposed a state of emergency in 2007, firing the chief justice and dozens of judges to avoid challenges to his rule.

    Police official Hakim Khan confirmed that a case had been opened against Mr Musharraf, who faces up to three years in prison if convicted of illegally detaining the judges.


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