Govt complicit in drone attacks: Imran Khan

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s two-day sit-in on Nato supply route begins today .

Qaiser Butt April 23, 2011


Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan has claimed that the government was complicit in the US drone campaign in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

In an exclusive chat with The Express Tribune hours before leaving for Peshawar to lead a two-day sit-in, the cricketer-turned-politician strongly criticised the government for its ‘indifference’ to the killing of ‘innocent tribesmen’ in the drone attacks. “They have sold out our sovereignty to our enemies,” he added.

Imran said the people should know that the corrupt leadership could only issue press statements against the drone attacks. “The government should take practical steps to ensure security and well-being of its people,” he said.

Imran said that the United States has killed hundreds of civilians in drone strikes since 2004. The PTI chief and his supporters will be staging the sit-in on the Nato supply route on Saturday and Sunday in protest against continuing US drone attacks. He warned the US of ‘terrible consequences’, if the drone campaign was not called off.

“The US must realise that the Pakhtun never forgive anyone who attacks them. They will avenge a wrong done to them even after 100 years,” he added.

Through his sit-in at Bagh-e-Naran in Hayatabad, near the Pak-Afghan border, Khan wants to invite attention of the international community to the CIA covert war in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

He appealed to the people to join him in his sit-in. “I ask the civil society, journalists, lawyers, tribesmen, political workers and patriotic Pakistanis to...defend their country.”

PTI’s central information secretary Umer Chema told The Express Tribune that the tribesmen and political workers have assured Imran of their full support in making the sit–in a success.

About Friday’s drone strike, the PTI chief said: “It’s unfair on the part of Washington to kill innocent women and children.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2011.


Mustafa Zaidi | 11 years ago | Reply National pride or ghairat has traditionally been punch line of establishment’s version of Pakistani nationalism. It makes a lot of sense to Pakhtuns who have also been a favorite proxy for army. But the way it has been invoked again and again by rightist intellectuals and politicians like Imran Khan, it has become perhaps most common currency of politics across board to the extent that after drone attacks, Aafia Siddiqui and Raymond Davis issues are considered to be the most important national issues both rendering their legitimacy from ghairat argument. Imran Khan in his recent protest in Peshawar against drone attacks went to the extent of saying that Pakhtuns’ ghairat in terms of taking revenge is something to be proud of. The problem with ghairat argument is that it is not an accepted norm in today’s world. This norm is product of authoritarianism, feudal society and chauvinism. An English equivalent of ghairat is honor. While dignity is an accepted value in today’s political discourse, honor is not. Both are different. Former is individual centered and lies within human rights framework while latter is collectivist and status quo centered. In Pakistani context, in order to carve another basis of hate against India and to leave the outdated social setup unchanged, ghairat discourse has been propagated by the rightist intelligentsia so much that most sensitive issues are being high-jacked by a hyper-emotional mob mentality.
Saima Afaq | 11 years ago | Reply Imran’s arrogance, dictatorial attitude, his refusal to listen to and tolerate any body else is the prime reason he is alone even in his own party. Imran is once again playing in the hands of the agencies and just playing their game and dancing to the tunes of the establishment. The way Imran is contacting PML-Q and MQM, two establishment-parties is one proof of that. More than half of FATA is in the control of Terrorists. Elders of FATA have been killed by them. Society, culture and economy of FATA has been crushed by these brutal people but Imran Khan is tight lipped against all these criminal guests of Pakistan.
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