Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was offloaded from a US bound flight at Toronto’s Pearson airport on Friday and questioned by American authorities, Express News reported.
Khan, who has been on a fund raising tour for his party in Canada recently, was travelling to the US to hold meetings with party members and raise further funds for the PTI as elections near.
US State Department spokesperson Laura Lucas told The Express Tribune, “We are aware that Imran Khan was briefly delayed in Toronto before boarding the next flight to the United States. The issue was resolved. Mr Khan is welcome in the United States.”
In a tweet from his official twitter account, Khan narrated the incident thus:
“I was taken off from plane and interrogated by US Immigration in Canada on my views on drones. My stance is known. Drone attacks must stop.”
Express News added that Khan was questioned for half an hour. US immigration officials also reportedly called the PTI chief a ‘supporter of Taliban’ .
Khan responded that he was not against the US, but opposes some of its policies.
In a subsequent tweet the former Pakistan cricket team captain said that he had missed his flight and will also miss a planned fund raising event in New York.
“Missed flight and sad to miss the Fundraising lunch in NY but nothing will change my stance. Still looking forward to meet PTI family there.”
The Toronto Sun had reported on October 18, 2012, that PTI aimed to raise $50,000 from a fund raising dinner which, PTI Canada president Khawar Chaudhry hoped would draw at least 1,500 attendees.
Twitter in a rage
As news of Imran Khan’s offloading and subsequent questioning spread, twitter, where a lot of Khan’s supporters and detractors share their opinions, took to picking apart the incident or supporting their leader.
Here are what some of the people tweeted in the aftermath of the the incident.
Strongly support Canadians and Americans against pro-Taliban Imran Khan
Imran Khan shouldn’t be allowed to enter the US. Enough said.
Interesting to know that Americans have investigated Imran Khan over the drone attacks issue…
As per Govt treaties, US immigration sits at Toronto airport to pre-screen all travelers to USA. Imran Khan and his team was held by them.
I am Imran Khan and I am in the hearts of 180 million of Pakistanies!#PTI
I wonder what would be govt, stance over the issue of Imran khan offloading from plane at Toronto Airport
Imran Khan’s last interview to CBC. This may have led to the Canadian authorities going on alert & offloading himhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/10/25/imran-khan-interview.html …