Imran Khan Insults Pakistani Pashtuns; Read his interview with Newsweek Feb 2, 2008
After supporting Taliban for years, now Imran Khan calls them “illiterate religious beggars” and tells Newsweek that Pashtuns will turn in Osama bin Laden if America pays them. Readers may remember that when in 1997 Attorney Robert Horan made a similar derogatory statement the then Nawaz Sharif Government rightfully asked Mr. Horan to apologize to the Pakistani people (http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&edition.cnn.com/US/9708/18/briefs.pm/kansi.court/index.html). Mr. Horan ended up apologizing. When will Imran Khan apologize to the Pashtuns?
Excerpts from the interview
So what do you advocate?
Look, it’s a mess. It was a mistake to turn the Taliban against you. They were just illiterate religious beggars. Those people, the more you kill them, the more they’re going to come after you. Now you have to separate the Pashtuns from Al Qaeda and start negotiations. It will be a slow process, but they are very good at negotiation. That’s the route to go.
But how do you persuade Pashtuns to allow the United States to go after Al Qaeda?
Pay them. For a fraction of the money spent on the war, they might have delivered Osama bin Laden. A little bit of money would have given them a stake in peace.
How do you start the process now?
You [must] have credible brokers. Musharraf is now attracting terrorists. The fundamentalists are targeting him. The Pashtuns are targeting him. So you need to have free and fair elections to set up a genuine elected government that can negotiate.
Do you see a figure emerging from elections who could hold the country together?
My contention, after watching the mess Musharraf has made, is that even a bad democrat would be better than a military man. Army men are not equipped to deal with the world. They are used to giving and taking orders, no debate. They have always made a mess of the country. Whatever emerges from democracy—it’ll be messy, I’m not saying we’ll have utopia—but we’ll be going in the right direction.
IK: Core issue in manifestos are neither here nor there, generally, wouldn’t you agree? Nevertheless, I don’t particularly doubt (or otherwise) IK/PTI claims, but just consider Imran Khan a political light weight, not even moderately cerebral, and a at least one of the following:
a beardo and a hypocrite and/or
a genuine schizophrenic
It’s my opinion about a public figure, and not meant as a personal affront to anyone on this forum. By the way, I hold him in very high esteem as a cricketer and a philanthropist.