Imran Khan Stands Up To America
By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor
Former cricket star, VT contributor and my very good friend, Imran Khan, has taken, not just a strong stance against American demands against Pakistan but has become, by far, the leading political figure in that nation. For the millions who see Khan as the real hope for peace throughout Asia, his meteoric rise in recent days has been long in coming.
The charismatic Khan, who I call “half Jack Kennedy and half Antonio Banderas,” has endured on the edge of Pakistan’s politics for years, though a major public figure, the “rock star” of Asian politics, his power has been very minor.
Now all of that has changed. In front of a crowd of over 100,000 supporters, Khan attacked the United States for its role in the destruction of Pakistan’s economy. Khan would end all cooperation by Pakistan in the phony war on terror. He has been an active critic of drone attacks which he has repeatedly pointed out are a significant cause of destabilization of Pakistan. Here, from last April, Khan addresses CNN, an attempt to talk sense to an American interviewer who just doesn’t seem to “get it.”
Khan arrived in China today for four days of conferences. China, Pakistan’s “other” ally, represents an offset to India’s burgeoning military growth. Military cooperation agreements between Pakistan and China, including the development of advanced weapons systems, has been an area of concern to some American politicians. Charges of Pakistan’s cooperation with the Taliban in Afghanistan fill America’s right wing and extremist publications though such stories often get the most basic political realities of the region totally wrong.
INTERVIEW: IMRAN KHAN AND GORDON DUFF DISCUSSING RAYMOND DAVIS ISSUE
He and I have spent hours discussing this and other issues along with American author Jeff Gates, anther American associate of Khan’s along with VT Editor Raja Mujtaba.
With Khan, the first Pakistani politician willing to stand up against America’s “1% rule” in decades now a political front-runner, the balance of power, in fact, America relations in Asia suddenly change.
Khan stands with the American people, in fact more than any American born politician. I remember joking with Jeff Gates about Khan, “You know, we could get this guy elected president of the United States in a minute.” Gates agreed.
Veterans Today supports Imran Khan, I stand behind him as a friend and we strongly advise Americans to learn everything they can about him. He is who so many of us which Ron Paul actually was.
Khan is 100%, “the real thing.”
From the UK Telegraph yesterday:
By Dean Nelson, South Asia Editor UK Telegraph
The scale of the rally has been described as a “tipping point” for him and his Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (Movement for Justice) political party (PTI), which, until now, has failed to convert his own personal popularity into mass political support.
But the turnout in Lahore on Sunday has shocked even his opponents who had written him off.
Now commentators believe Pakistan’s most celebrated cricketer and best-known former playboy could have a decisive impact on the next election, expected next year, amid growing dissatisfaction with the ruling Pakistan People’s Party under Benazir Bhutto’s widower Ali Asif Zardari. There has also been a loss of momentum of the main opposition party the Pakistan Muslim League (N), led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Mr Khan’s sudden popularity will cause alarm in Washington after he told his supporters he would end Pakistan’s involvement in the war on terror and stop the use of drones to attack militants in its tribal border areas.
“The Americans will be told that Pakistan cannot fight their war and Pakistan Army cannot do its bidding,” he said, adding that its drone attacks on al-Qaeda and Taliban militants “are feeding terrorism”.
“They are pushing over one million armed Pakhtuns to the other side of the divide. Once Pakistan quits the US-sponsored war on terror, these one million armed tribal people will take care of militancy and terrorism in their areas,” he said.
He pledged to tackle corruption, improve electricity supply and overhaul tax collection to wean the country from dependence on aid.
“Pakistan is losing over Rs3,000 billion [£21 billion] a year in tax corruption. If it can be tapped, the country does not need foreign aid,” he said, adding that he, like the country’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah would “rather die than beg”.
His fiercest critics last night conceded that after years in the wilderness, Mr Khan’s determination was finally paying dividends, but he had failed to address the key issue in Pakistan’s politics – the dominance of its army over civilian government and its monopoly of foreign policy and military spending. Suspicions that he has the support of the military were fuelled by recent comments by former dictator General Pervez Musharraf singling him out as the best of Pakistan’s party leaders.
Jugnu Mohsin, the satirist whose column Howzzat! lampoons him as Im the Dim, a slow-witted, ageing Lothario, said she admired his persistence but wished he would explain his stand on the lack of army accountability and Taliban terrorism.
She was pleased to see so many women at his rally, but wanted them to ask him where he stands on Taliban “bombings of girls’ schools in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and the killing of women accused of ‘immorality,’ if he’s an apologist for the Taliban. These are the life and death questions in Pakistan at the moment . I feel the military would be very comfortable with him because he’s playing right into their hands,” she said.
Mr Khan appeared, however, to have retained the support of his ex-wife, heiress Jemima Khan, who hailed the turnaround in her former husband’s political fortunes on Twitter. “Everyone is saying this PTI Lahore jalsa [rally] is a game-changer in Pakistan. Inshallah [God willing],” she wrote.
Posted by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor on November 1, 2011, With Reads Filed under WarZone. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.