Khan to Assange: Politicians realise vote bank belongs to me now

Published: June 19, 2012

Politicians have realised that the vote bank belongs to me now and that is why they are joining my party, says Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. Speaking during his interview for Julian Assange’s talk show “The World Tomorrow”, Khan explained the recent surge in his popularity in Pakistan.

Acknowledging that things changed drastically for PTI after two big rallies in Lahore and Karachi, Khan however linked his rise to the exposure given to him by the burgeoning Pakistani electronic media during Pervez Musharraf’s tenure especially during the emergency.

Khan said that since he was at the forefront during the Lawyers’ Movement in 2007, “my party started taking off.”

He also mentioned that he had boycotted the elections held under Musharraf, because he believed they were rigged by the “Americans” and were meant to bring the corrupt politicians back in power. “[The elections are] going to be a disaster for the people of Pakistan,” Khan had said then.

The PTI chief said that his graph started to go up also because people realised I was right about boycotting the last elections.

Alleging that all other political parties are conspiring against PTI, Khan said even though these parties criticise each other in public, “they have this understanding now that, whatever happens, my party should stay out.”

Stating that his opponents are scared by his growing popularity, Khan said “they’re petrified because the last time in Pakistan we saw rallies as big as the two I took out, one in Lahore and one in Karachi, was 40 years ago by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.”

“He swept the election, he just swept… and he was an underdog and all the status quo parties were blown away,” he added.

Commenting on the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011, the PTI chief said the unilateral action by the US forces created “a very strong reaction born out of a feeling of humiliation.” He further said that Pakistan’s ally did not trust us and instead came and killed someone on our own soil.

Bashing the US drone strike policy as always, Khan said the attacks carried out by the unmanned predators violate human rights.

“Which law allows you to be a judge, jury and executioner? And this on information which could be flawed? They have these spies roaming around there, who then just send them a message that ‘look, here are some militants’ – bear in mind that every man in the tribal area is armed. It’s the most unique place on Earth, where every man is a warrior, carries a gun and this is for time immemorial. People have always carried weapons,” Khan said.

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Reader Comments (69)

  • Col Imtiaz
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:22PM

    If everyman in the tribal area is a warrior and has a gun, take it away, teach him to read and write and and tell him to follow the law. The tribal area is part of PAKISTAN not the wild west Recommend

  • Tahir Alyana
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:25PM

    What a person he is. Another MUhammad Ali Jinnah in the making:


  • Ali tanoli
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:28PM

    True we love u imran khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.


  • ZA
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:31PM

    great interview .. great interviewer … great interviewee … IK. Next Man In
    God Bless IK, PTI, Pakistan


  • vote
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:32PM

    The vote bank is NOT your personal property which BELONGS to you as if you own it.

    It belongs to the PEOPLE themselves. My vote, my decision. Got it?Recommend

  • amjid
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:35PM

    its so funny when at the start Julian said that i have cold but its good sign because i have now sexy voice


  • Jun 19, 2012 - 7:37PM

    MR Imtiaz what imran khan is trying to say that all these attacks are killing a lot of innocent people.All the people killed are not named and identified.Everybody is against terrorism in Pakistan and would like to see it free from terrorist howver this not at the expense of innocent people.


  • no jirga
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:40PM

    last thing pakistan needs is this khan.

    keep your jirga rule to yourself.Recommend

  • Abid Khan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:43PM

    Love you Khan Sahib. The only sincere leader and man of principles. Others are looters and plunderers. Sane responses and rational approach.


  • Deadman
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:43PM

    “My vote bank” …A demi deja-vu….. remines me of someone saying “i have won the wolrd cup”


  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:49PM

    I think it is time that Pakistanis elect a squeaky clean leader who could clean up this mess which has been created by self serving corrupt, good for nothing politicians. I hope he does what he says and no room for any accommodation of corrupt people in his party or future administration.


  • Pakistani
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:55PM

    I hope that IK will stop Pakistan role in international strategic alliances and only focus on Economy , Please don’t promise for big things , just generate electricity at lowest cost in the region , this will generate lot of lot jobs and business .Big promises never gave us anything in Past
    Clean and Simple Demand


  • Char Latan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:58PM

    Vote bank belongs to him? Why bother with elections.


  • Bogar Khattak
    Jun 19, 2012 - 7:59PM

    My Vote is my property and I will definitely ballot to PTI , Insha Allah , I am proud that my leader is Imran Khan . Long Live PTI .


  • Pakistani
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:04PM

    If the system is corrupt then Election commission is also a part of this system , why not you make your own system from roots ?


  • Hassan Sadiq
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:11PM

    Those jumping up & down about their “vote” how about casting rather than talking about it as for me and my family the vote is for PTI, compare this interview with the one Gillani gave and if you can’t see the difference you never will!!!!


  • Sonya
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:12PM

    Fools paradise.Recommend

  • Athar
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:15PM

    love you imran khan and every word you said. . Inshallah you will bring a real change to this country. my vote is for you


  • awais
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:17PM

    and your popularity started declining after pasha regim….Recommend

  • Bigboy
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:18PM

    “Politicians have realised that the vote bank belongs to me now and that is why they are joining my party, says Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan”.
    So is it going to be old wine in new bottle as the same faces will now be elected on a PTI ticket. Is this the tsunami of change?


  • Concerned
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:23PM

    @Col Imtiaz:
    Easier said than done – especially when the tribal areas are undergoing a relentless American bombing campaign, have scores of militant hideouts and are facing Pakistani military options. It is always the innocent, the unaligned who suffer.

    The tribal areas aren’t the Wild West, they’re a lot worse and a lot more brutal. Pakistan needs to disengage from this war and start rehabilitating these people into modern society. Unfortunately, that can’t happen when they’re getting shot, beheaded and bombed.


  • Concerned
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:26PM

    @Bigboy: But all the wine we have available to us is old – it may not be perfect, but the PTI is probably the ‘newest’ wine available to us. Either it’s the PTI, PML-N, the Military or back to the rotten, corrupt PPP.


  • bilal
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:28PM

    Imran please save us from the looters.. We love you and you are only pakistan hope.. thank you


  • Noise
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:29PM

    The tribals have brought this on themselves by always giving refuge all sorts of fugitives. They need to have their false tribal pride whipped out of them.


  • Usman
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:33PM

    You will be surprised how insanely popular he is with the overseas Pakistanis of every possible class and strata. It is because he is the most sincere leader Pakistan has EVER had, period. People realize that If they let him lose this time, it will be their loss, Pakistan’s loss. He has nothing to lose if he was to let the god-forsaken people and country to its status-quo, only to gain, probably some peace in his life and quality time with his sons. This is it!


  • Wazi
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Vote bank belongs to me? Power is already getting to his head. Vote bank is not your property khan sab. It only belongs to People of Pakistan.


  • Imran Haider
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:39PM

    We still did not hear whether Imran Khan considers militancy and religious extremism as bad things for Pakistan. He is implying that it has been like this since the time immemorial, so not much can be done about it. To me, this does not sound like coming from a visionary statesman.


  • Cautious
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:41PM

    The term superficial comes to mind — panders to the crowd with anti USA blather combined with magical fixes to corruption, incompetence, and the economy. In most countries he wouldn’t last 5 minutes in a stand up debate but in Pakistan he’s a potential front runner – go figure.


  • sane voice
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:45PM

    Come out of your dreams Mr. Imran khan………the sooner the better for you and your party. I just cant understand why are you so much obsessed with yourelf. But there is one interesting thing in this interview; IK said that he boycotted the 2008 election and his decision was right………….so until now you have been repeating that Nawaz sharif ditched you and left you boycotting………while his party participated in the election…………why make so much fuss of it…………it was your own decision after all………….right or wrong.


  • salmank
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:55PM

    imran khan our future pm


  • Sadia
    Jun 19, 2012 - 8:57PM

    who cares about your one vote. Its a decision of the nation that matter and IK is talking about the nation.


  • Adeel Syed
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:00PM

    You know why the vast majority of overseas Pakistanis support IK? We have witnessed real democracy in the west and from what we see in Pakistan, IK is the only leader who comes close to the politicians here in the west. Unfortunately the Pakistani people themselves are aloof of this gem that they possess.


  • Salman Zafar
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:07PM

    He is the real leader….
    Goodluck PTI in coming elections.



  • Khan
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:11PM


    and start rehabilitating these people into modern society

    So who is stopping us from rehabilitation process or closing Western border.. yes it may not be possible as you said in NW/SWA but what about rest of tribal regions .. knowing we have ignored FATA but FATA consists of many regions .. what have we done for rest of them including areas like DI Khan, DG Khan, Bannu, Landi Kotal, Zhob etc which are surrounding areas and equally neglected. The fact is that we are just a lazy bunch who are busy in self serving only .. every one will jump to blame this on politicians but the fact is we were ruled by dictators who holds complete power and majority of budget has always gone to them thus it was their responsibility to change things in Pakistan.


  • Wasim
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:20PM

    Great interview and by both Julian and IK


  • Imran Con
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:36PM

    That had to be one of the dumbest shots at someone I’ve seen on here. The nations vote doesn’t exist without the votes like his. As if just 2 people vote for PTI and they suddenly become the whole nation.


  • Angel
    Jun 19, 2012 - 9:49PM

    @sane voice: I am sorry but ur comment make no sense. IK best of luck for the next elections. Overseas Pakistanis are with you and we are waiting for ur jalsa in New York on July 1st 2012. Best of luck


  • Nadeem
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:00PM

    @Col Imtiaz:

    Muslim should be quite strong to deal with any eventuality. This is what our religion teaches. What we find the Muslims all over the world weak because they are ill-equipped against their foes. Isn’t so.

    Nadeem Rizvi


  • Abdul Qayyum Bhatti
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:10PM

    NADRA data stolen by US sponsored company? watch 18 to 20 min of the video timeline.
    Did NADRA was established to provide personal data of all Pakistanis to US?


  • Jun 19, 2012 - 10:11PM

    Good to be confident but always bad to be overconfident


  • jai zardai
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:37PM

    to young to be arrogant
    a man that will be lucky to get 10 seats


  • Khattak
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:40PM

    Remember IK that stopping corruption in Pakistan will help revival of economy but long term stability of the country only depends on quality education. I am going to vote for him in next elections on hope that he will spend at least 7% of budget on education.


  • Lawrence Orr
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:49PM

    Don’t you realise that Pakistan does have only one vote, Imran is Pakistans only hope, any uninterested observer can see that America has been using Pakistan – since the interview it’s more transparent than ever -so give him a chance.


  • nasir
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:53PM

    He is the only leader in Pakistan who can talk and communicate with international media. look how respectful Julian Assange was to him. No other leader get invited and can present pakistan's case in such convincing way.God has given him so much respect in Pakistan and outside world.He is a special person. You can clearly see Julian has respect and liking for Imran. Nawaz sharif never get invited by international press to speak on world issues and pakistan. Can anybody recall when was Nawaz sharif invited to speak on international media or any conference.

  • Khatoon e awal
    Jun 19, 2012 - 10:57PM

    Oh how some people here are hating IK. I just love it. Ik makes u all so Insecure. Petrified like he said. Imran Khan, You guessed it right.. The vote bank belongs to you! My Fist ever vote for Imran Khan! <3


  • nasir
    Jun 19, 2012 - 11:06PM

    @Tahir Alyana:
    A special person IK. Seeing international celeberity like Julian assange giving him so much respect makes you feel proud . God has given him so mcuh respect all over the world.


  • Thoughtful
    Jun 19, 2012 - 11:49PM

    Go for it dude. Fight them elections. Win,and fin the magical solutions….Recommend

  • Reza Ali
    Jun 20, 2012 - 12:15AM

    @naeem khan Manhattan,Ks:
    Imran may be squeaky but has NEVER been clean.


  • imran
    Jun 20, 2012 - 12:58AM

    @Col Imtiaz: guess what these ppl hav been carrying guns for last 60 years but never ever they pointed their weapons towards the state. even it was these tribal people who helped pakistan army in avery war fought with India. Anyways its a little technical I am sure you wont be able to escalate to level of ntelligence to comprehend all this.

    By the way they are very educated people, even with no money their children get the best available education. come out of your drawing room and face the sun son only then you will know the ground realities.


    Jun 20, 2012 - 1:11AM

    At least he speaks on the behalf of our poeple from tribal area to karachi…he is much better than others in all aspect. good luck for mr khan


  • Expatriate
    Jun 20, 2012 - 1:23AM

    In common with other politicians of the country Imran khan has learned over last few years the art of big talks with no substance.He even qoutes statistics and other facts without bothering to check .

    In Pakistan attendance at rallies are no barometer of popularity of the politicians thus guaranteeing the success.Karachi and Lahore are two mega city with populations of 20million and12million.Now measure your so called vote bank.
    Election is distant away and there will be many misses between lips and cup of tea.


  • Fahad Raza
    Jun 20, 2012 - 2:12AM

    This is hideous minipulations of the news.. Its a Shame to see Et headline the interview that way….. the statement as projected misleads the masses here.


  • s.m.
    Jun 20, 2012 - 2:39AM

    no one can match the abilities of SHAHBAZ SHARIF…….i k is perk…


  • Kamran Khan
    Jun 20, 2012 - 2:43AM

    My first ever vote belongs to IK


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jun 20, 2012 - 3:46AM

    Imran has some supporters but they are still few years away from voting age. Pakistan has reached a very crictical point and only an experienced party and leader can change this situation. Four and half years ago, instead of selecting a fight he just walked out and gave free hand to those forces who have brought Pakistan to its knees. He should wait few more years and let PML(N) and Mian Sahib bring the positive change.


  • saeed
    Jun 20, 2012 - 4:23AM

    why our people just hate to death or worship like true one.
    It is a institute (democracy) will make the change not the individual . Let give the time to democracy which already lost precious time by dictatorship in Pakistan.


  • Freeman
    Jun 20, 2012 - 5:28AM

    @Cautious: My dear Mindset Imran Khan is the only leader who talk clearly in every other country he goes. Imran Khan is the only Leader who have good influence in other countries as people all over the world know he is the only Pakistani leader who is the honest is not corrupt.


  • powerless
    Jun 20, 2012 - 5:36AM

    Has this greatest leader come out with a public stance on discriminatory loadshedding targeting Punjab only?

    Punjabis may be brown-skinned and not gora like you, but they are also humans!Recommend

  • Mubashir
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:39AM

    Like him or Not.. He seems to be the Best Option for Pakistan… Even his Detractors Admit that he is Honest and Clean… We Need Imran…


  • jaahilgilgity
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:45AM

    seems like IK is into that kinda voices being a ‘warrior’ from tribal areas :)


  • jaahilgilgity
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:46AM

    and who are you represent the whole ‘nation’?


  • jaahilgilgity
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:56AM

    Being honest and not being corrupt ( so far) are two different things.


  • ahmer
    Jun 20, 2012 - 10:04AM

    Majority of the comments here are against imran khan….says a lot…..all these votes are against him…My guess…when the time comes he would not even win 1 seat


  • Pakistani
    Jun 20, 2012 - 10:07AM

    Prime Minister Imran Khan


  • liaqat hayat
    Jun 20, 2012 - 10:34AM

    IK has to be supported with good and precise suggestions specially from technocrates in private and retired professionals so that he can work sufficiently for his future priorities.
    regards-liaqat hayat


  • Riaz Khan
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:50AM

    God help Pakistan because Imran Khan is coming to town! Last nail in the coffin.


  • Jun 20, 2012 - 2:17PM

    He is a much better leader then other, he knows what he is doing and we support you IK.


  • Karachiwalal
    Jun 20, 2012 - 8:39PM

    @naeem khan Manhattan,Ks:
    you live in US… tell me can you claim US has a squeaky clean politician. Clean Politician is an oxymoron.


  • Jun 21, 2012 - 6:24AM

    Imran is certainly more cleaner than the others – he is also focused, a team player and yes a leader… something the current politicians in Pakistan claim


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