Zardari an impotent puppet: Imran Khan
By Rizwan Khatik - Tue Sep 20, 11:10 am
NEW DELHI: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has denounced Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari as “an impotent puppet” who has not delivered anything to the Americans, and said the US was going to “have to kill a lot of people to make any impact” in the war on terror.
The 58-year-old Oxford alumnus has used anti-Americanism to perfection in a country where most people see politicians as US puppets who facilitate the deadly drone attacks. Not surprisingly , for his tough talk against the US, Khan’s popularity is on the rise. The latest surveys rank him as the most popular Pakistani politician and the likely prime minister after the 2014 polls.
Khan described the war in Afghanistan as “most insane and immoral” and asked the government to pull out of it in an interview with The Guardian on Monday. He said the war was unwinnable because it involves more killings and, consequently, more radicalization. “The Soviets killed more than a million people in Afghanistan. They were fighting more at the end than the beginning. Clearly, a population of 15 million could take a million dead and still keep fighting.”
While criticizing the drone attacks, Khan also regretted the lack of international acknowledgement of Pakistan’s contribution to the war on terror. “CIA chief (Leon) Panetta says that the Pakistan government was either incompetent or complicit (in protecting Osama bin Laden). They’re talking about a country in which 35,000 people have died during a war that had nothing to do with us.” Khan said bin Laden’s presence and killing in Pakistan was humiliating for the country.
“Wherever I went, I felt this anger in the people. It was humiliating because an American president announces it, not our president. And because it was the American military, not our military, which this country has given great sacrifices to nurture, that killed him.”
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief stressed that US aid to his country’s “puppet government” was destroying it. “We’re using our army to kill our own people with American money.” Khan predicted that Pakistan’s people seem destined to suffer as much as they did during the British colonial rule in “an era of neocolonialism”.