London: Insisting that Pakistan should move
away from the United States in the `war on terror`, Pakistani
cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan believes that aid from
the US was allegedly destroying his country.
"The aid to our puppet government from the US is
destroying our country. We`re basically using our Army to kill
our own people with American money. We have to separate from
the US," Khan told The Guardian in an interview in London.
Speaking on several issues, Khan said that Pakistan had
two main problems: corruption and tax evasion.
"We have the lowest tax-GDP ratio in the world: 9 per
cent. If we get it to 18 per cent, which is India, we`re
solvent," he said.
Khan bristled with anger on the charge that Pakistan was
allegedly complicit in harbouring Osama bin Laden.
The whole of Pakistan, according to him, was furious when
US President Barack Obama announced in May that bin laden
had been killed.
Khan said: "The whole of Pakistan felt this way. Wherever
I went I felt this humiliation and anger in 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."
He added: "Most humiliating of all was that the CIA chief
Panetta says that the Pakistan government was either
incompetent or complicit... They`re talking about a country in
which 35,000 people have died during a war that had nothing to
do with us. Ours is perhaps the only country in history that
keeps getting bombed, through drone attacks, by our ally."
Arguing that the `war on terror` was unwinnable, Khan
said: "The Soviets killed more than a million people in
Afghanistan. They were fighting more at the end than the
beginning. So clearly a population of 15 million could take a
million dead and still keep fighting. They [the Americans] are
going to have to kill a lot of people to make any impact and
they also have in Zardari an impotent puppet as Pakistani
president who has not delivered anything to the Americans."
He added: "The Americans also don`t realise that this
whole Arab spring was against puppets or dictators. People
want democracy. So this whole idea of planting your own man
there, a dictator - neocolonialism is what it`s called - is
not going to work anymore".
Khan cited a government economic survey as stating that
USD 70 billion has been lost to the Pakistan economy because
of the `war on terror`.
"Total aid has been barely USD 20 billion. Aid has gone
to the ruling elite, while the people have lost USD 70
billion. We have lost 35,000 lives and as many maimed - and
then to be said to be complicit. The shame of it," he
exclaimed. Confident of his party`s victory in the 2012 Pakistan
elections, Khan, the captain of the 1992 World Cup winning
team, said: "I played five World Cups and it was only in the
last World Cup before we won (in 1992) that I said: `Put money
on us.` Now I`m saying my party will win. I`m throwing
everyone a challenge that nothing can stop this party. Nothing."
According to him political parties in Pakistan were
"petrified" of him.
"They all want to make alliances with me and I say: `No,
I`m going to fight all of you together because you`re all the
same,`" he said.