Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said that a peaceful end to the war on terror was possible only through holding talks with the Taliban.
While speaking to a British newspaper, the cricketer-turned-politician said Pakistan’s elite liberals were the only group in the world that supports war ideology of George W Bush.
He stated that when he opposes drone attacks his English-speaking enemies label him as ‘Taliban Khan’ while liberal sections of the society give him the name of an extremist and to the militants he is a US yes-man.
He noted, “Never have I once given a statement in support of the Taliban. Never once have I failed to condemn an attack on civilians. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do – pick up a gun and charge against them?”
He was of the opinion that it was very thin line and one could be killed here once his tongue slipped slightly.
Commenting on war and corruption, the cricketer hero said, “We have the lowest tax to GDP ratio in the world – 61 per cent of our national MPs pay no tax at all. Keeping Pakistan as a frontline state and prolonging the war allows the elite to rake in the foreign aid.”
The former captain said the participation of thousands of people in his rallies was the Pakistani version of the Arab Spring.
He further stated, “A corrupt status quo has been ruling the Muslim world, but now the majority want democratic rights. We have women who were educated in English-medium schools, and we have boys who have been to the seminaries. Our support comes from across the class divide, and that’s why it’s so exciting.”
He was quoted saying, “For the past three decades, I have watched the country degenerate. I can try to do something, or I could do nothing, and in that case, I cannot complain.”
He further stated that negotiated settlement with the Taliban was the only way forward to end the war, not only for Pakistan, but for the hapless British soldiers fighting in Helmand, Afghanistan.
If the US stops the drones, withdraws the army and engages with the tribes, it will ultimately win the war, Khan added.