Reject US aid, says Imran Khan

Published: May 12, 2011
PTI leader Imran Khan addresses supporters in Peshawar during a sit-in against US drone strikes. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PTI leader Imran Khan addresses supporters in Peshawar during a sit-in against US drone strikes. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan said Pakistan should distance itself from Washington by rejecting all American aid to the country.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief said that Pakistan is now more vulnerable than at any time in its 63 years of existence following the US operation in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden.

The Herald report quotes Imran:

“The biggest lesson to learn [from the operation] is that Pakistan should stand on its own feet, say no to aid and be a sovereign country,” he said. “Our government policies have been dictated by aid, they have enslaved us by aid.”

Leaders of the US Congress voiced support on Thursday for preserving aid to Pakistan, calling for a clear-eyed view despite outrage that Osama bin Laden lived for years in the allied nation.

The United States has given some $18 billion to Pakistan since the September 11, 2001 attacks, when the nuclear-armed nation officially ended support of Afghanistan’s Taliban and agreed to work with the United States.

Last week, PTI announced a second protest against drone attacks and vowed to block NATO supplies by staging a two-day sit-in on May 21 and 22 in Karachi. Oil is supplied to NATO forces in Afghanistan from Karachi through tankers.

“These drone attacks are not just a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, they are a violation of all humanitarian laws,” Mr Khan told the Herald.

“Imagine the feeling here, that despite all the sacrifices given by the people of this country, we are more vulnerable than ever before and we stand humiliated,” he said. “People want answers for this, but unfortunately we have the most corrupt and incompetent government.”

He has joined politicians from across Pakistan’s political spectrum in demanding the resignation of the President, Asif Ali Zardari, and the Prime Minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani, reports the Herald.

“No one believes them in Pakistan, no one believes them abroad,” he said. ”So what are they doing there? They have failed on all fronts.”

Imran earlier said the US operation was a “total disaster for Pakistan”. “Why was the announcement not made by the Pakistan government? Why the rulers kept silent? There is a total confusion over the situation. People want to hear the truth,” he said.

“The worst is that we have completely lost our credibility and we are so vulnerable,” he told the Herald.

“As we have been accused of harbouring the world’s biggest terrorist that means any act of terrorism that takes place anywhere, all fingers will be pointing at Pakistan … the country stands terribly exposed. We could end up paying an even higher price than we have already paid.”


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Reader Comments (30)

  • @@
    May 12, 2011 - 3:32PM

    I like & support the idea but how about the money/ AID that we have already consumed ?? We are paying the price for that all these years & years to come :(Recommend

  • May 12, 2011 - 3:36PM

    Why is he demanding the resignations of the President and PM. Reject US Aid? Whose the biggest recipient? The Army. Who allos the drone attacks to continue? The military. Pont your guns there or remain accused of being a tool for the establishment. Recommend

  • Najib Khan
    May 12, 2011 - 3:44PM

    Your rock Dude Khan , u are our only & last hope , u are a star & please keep rocking the boat of this corrupt Government .Recommend

  • Saad
    May 12, 2011 - 3:59PM

    Army does what the president asks them to do. The president and civil administration is silent so is military for that matter. Army cant take an action on its own. The President of Pakistan is the Commander-in-Chief and supreme commander of the Army.Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    May 12, 2011 - 5:10PM

    Good idea I love it, but who will pay bills?!!!Recommend

  • May 12, 2011 - 5:17PM

    So how is Pakistan going to pay for the imports if it refuses to take aid? In rupees? Does IK think before he speaks? If he does, then we should be let in on the secret of his plans for the economy.Recommend

  • Mahmood
    May 12, 2011 - 5:35PM

    Populist rehetoric – but no long term solutions to the problems of Pakistan. Once you kick out all foreigners and break relations with the World – where do you go next? Xenophobia doesn’t resolve anything.Recommend

  • Hassan
    May 12, 2011 - 6:01PM

    @ Vok, Pakistan is given 1.5 Billion dollars in aid every year on an average, Pakistan’s GDP is 160 Billion dollars. the aid is less than 1 % of the GDP get real buddy we can survive without Aid. I am sure you didnt do a lot of thinking before posting your comments!!!!

    @Mahmood, where did Imran say that he will kick out foreigners and break relations, do you have difficulty reading or with comprehension? Does the rest of the world which does not take aid from the west, have they kicked out all foreigners and have the broken all ties with developed world? Get Rreal Pakistan can have an independent foreign policy which looks after Pakistan’s interests first. Read, comprehend and then comment!!!!Recommend

  • faraz
    May 12, 2011 - 6:11PM

    Imran khan threatened that a ‘civil disobedience movement’ would be launched if the Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) was imposed.

    This gives a fair idea of Imran’s naivety regarding economic matters. He has no idea that the country would go bankrupt in weeks in US stops giving aid, blocks IMF loans, and stops buying our exports. More than 50 percent of our exports go to US and EU, and their armies are fighting in Afghanistan.

    Ofcourse, we need to stand on our own feet, but that will take years of effort on improving education and building human resource. Economic development doesnt happen overnight. And as expected, Imran has no problem with the defence budget. Recommend

  • Ahmed
    May 12, 2011 - 7:02PM

    Imran: Pakistani economy is finally rebounding. Our exports increased by 34% (mostly to USA). Still our imports are $16 billion more than our exports. How do we pay for them. Especially those expansive sun glasses you wear. You should think before you talk. or in fact just do not talk.

    Pakistan needs about $50 billion invested in power generation. Another $40 billion in infrastructure and another $20 billion in education over the next five to six years.

    We only have trade surplus with America and European Union. Imran you want to destroy the realtionship with the largest buyer of Pakistani goods. It is the same market that Korea, China, Taiwan, and several other countries used to turn around the living conditions of their people.

    Imran economy does not change with one yorker.Recommend

  • Abdul Wahab
    May 12, 2011 - 7:18PM

    Mr Tight Dhoti, abt the funding and its consumption by the army, with due respect sir army has been undertaking many operations with the support of US and it costs money to even move ur vehicle for them. The support that they hav been giving is peanut as compared to the losses tht has incurred.

    We shod therefore, stop supporting them and tell them to get out of here. Recommend

  • Ali
    May 12, 2011 - 7:20PM

    That’s what all of those con artists sitting at the top want you to think. That we will go bankrupt without the aid. I don’t know about the rest of you but I would rather go bankrupt and die than be a pseudo-slave. Which is worse than being a slave.
    And Imran has given economic plan many a times. I don’t think you fellas have listened to the economic plan. It includes an emergency revenue collection by increasing the public confidence in tax giving and that will in open the floodgates of investment not just from venture capitalists but by the millions of expats whose collective GDP is the same as the GDP of Pakistan. And I’m not just spitballing – these are historic facts how India and china have risen to be economic powers. And I think it’s the job of a leader to tell his people that you can do whatever you wanna do and you can make things happen and not tell them that we need aid from the world over.
    Also I don’t blame my brothers, the awam for being really pessimistic about imran’s vision. These are the most pessimistic times. But thats when we need to rise above and beyond our potential. And we will inshAllah. Recommend

  • Ali
    May 12, 2011 - 7:24PM

    @ Ahmed: the political relationship between US and china are no hidden matter..they have been rocky for decades. Yet US is the largest market for Chinese exports.
    Don’t spread pessimism. Believe in yourself.
    We do not..Do not do not do not need any help..we can build our own self…just need to believe.

    P.s: may I ask what you think is the right way to save our country?Recommend

  • Jahan
    May 12, 2011 - 8:03PM

    Why some of the folks here believes that Rejecting Aid means Cutting Off all the relations with the US?. The only way forward is stand on our own and say no to aid otherwise there will be no end to the dictatorial policies of the America. The time for Imran Khan’s idea has come Justice, Humanity, Selfesteem. Imran 4 PMRecommend

  • hussain
    May 12, 2011 - 8:13PM

    totaly fraud Recommend

  • Hunain
    May 12, 2011 - 8:52PM

    he is the man!!!Recommend

  • May 12, 2011 - 10:01PM

    Rejecting the US aid is killing the poor people of Pakistan. The only alternative is imposing punitive taxes on all politicians of this country. That solve our deficit problem. Politicians only highlight the problems but do not know the solutions. Politics is the last resort of a scoundrel, already told by George Bernard Shaw. Recommend

  • mazhar
    May 12, 2011 - 10:38PM

    imran khan is absolutely correct our government should quite aid as soon as possible because we are paying more than getting.Recommend

  • Azhar
    May 12, 2011 - 11:38PM

    Yes we should..Those who are saying that Imran has never said anythn g about defence budget should watch his speeches more often..He has been criticized for saying that we should lessen defence budget and spend it on education..He has also said that Army and ISI is also responsible for the abbotabad failure..Dont u guys listen and read and just comment…Recommend

  • Cosmo
    May 13, 2011 - 2:47AM

    Dude you are so naive in your analysis of GDP. GDP hardly matters, what matters is the trade deficit between import and exports. Doesn’t matter how big is your GDP as long as you import more than you export you will keep piling up your deficit and owe money to the world.
    And believe me, in the context as someone has pointed out that your import is 16 billion more than your export, well 1.5 billion is a damn big number to be not account for. Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    May 13, 2011 - 6:54AM

    “P.s: may I ask what you think is the right way to save our country?”

    Just wanted to poke-in and give you a very easy solution.
    1. First and foremost, get rid of fundamentalist infrastructure developed in the military and politico. For that make only one law, no bigotry.
    2. Reduce military expense. We need no more than one-fourth current military strength and need only 10 A-Bombs with 10 capable missiles (those we already have). We do not have any danger from India as we have support from China and USA if India wants any adventure (so far in 60 years history India did not have any military adventure, we had and lost all 3 times).
    3. With the above 2 you do not need any help after 10 years of span. Remember every country is dependent on others.
    To speed up recovery we can double education and research budget without any strain on economy?Recommend

  • All BS
    May 13, 2011 - 11:45AM

    FX inflows into Pakistan in 2010

    Exports USD 19.6bn
    Remittances USD 9bn
    FDI USD 2.4bn
    ADB USD 1.2bn
    US Military aid USD 650mn
    World Bank USD 600mn
    IMF USD 450mn
    US Aid USD 179mn

    Facts rather than misperceptions should form basis of debateRecommend

  • Hassan
    May 13, 2011 - 12:55PM

    @ Cosmo, I didnt analyse the GDP, i commented on the contribution of US aid to our GDP. US aid is not to fund our balance of payments deficit, for that we get loans from IMF. I hope you understand the difference between Loans and Grants. By increasing our Tax to GDP ration we will become solvent so as to refuse International Aid. Pakistan is a nation of 180 million people we can generate enough domestic demand to get our economy restarted, we have enough mineral wealth and ability to guarnateee food secutity so that we dont have to import food items and other non developmental imports which can easily offset the BOP deficitRecommend

  • Shahid Khan
    May 14, 2011 - 3:05AM

    Those aid dollars are paying the personal bills for the corrupt governemnt officials, not a single penny is going to the common people, common people are not going to suffer it’s shareef’s and zardari’s and makhdoom and chaudries and pir sahab going to suffer. Nation will be better off. I bet you there will be more dollars puring in from overseas Pakistanis if Imran comes to power because we all trust him. Recommend

  • Shahid Khan
    May 14, 2011 - 3:13AM

    @Aziz MD:
    Killing poor people?? what have you been smoking?? Aid money is coming back into these corrupt leaders account either you are naive or part of this corrupt administration. your begger mantallity is disgraceful. Recommend

  • VoK
    May 14, 2011 - 3:13AM

    If that were only the case then I would accept your argument, but the reality is that there are EXPENSES that need to be considered. You wish to project one side of the coin. Maybe you think no one will notice that you just mentioned what is coming in, what about what is going out?
    As for receiving loans from IMF and other institutions, it all boils down to what the US wants.
    Take your own advice and start thinking more.Recommend

  • Eco
    May 14, 2011 - 5:47PM

    @VoK: Very good point. Please tell us about these expenses.Recommend

  • shoban khan
    May 17, 2011 - 10:48AM

    we are looking imran khan to save the beautiful pakistan/Recommend

  • VoK
    May 20, 2011 - 1:10AM

    The following link contains the information about the income and expenses for the current year. The last 2 pages summarize the Govt. figures

    @ Web Editor: How come this comment is not being approved? You have something against truth?Recommend

  • essaar
    May 20, 2011 - 1:31AM


    Smeared with pungent disgrace
    Unable to stare at their hideous face
    Hunched with crimes – burdens of their past

    Deeply they stared into diseased souls
    Unable to relieve depressing disgust
    Spiraling towards all consuming darkness

    The worst creatures amongst them their leaders
    With blackness stamped on their hearts
    Their darkness consuming the light

    Blind and senseless was amongst them a man
    Who did not know darkness or light
    Who could not smell death surrounding his bed
    He spoke of the truth and those things that get lost in the darkness
    In his extreme he shouted and screamed

    Listen to him said their hearts
    But alas blinded by the darkness their minds betrayed
    The stench filled their nostrils and they were ever consumed

    How sad it is when children of great dreams no longer dream!Recommend

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