Posts Tagged ‘Imran Khan’

Imran Khan and the arrogance of U.S. power

October 30, 2012

Imran Khan, a former Pakistan cricket star, has gone into politics and may well be the next Prime Minister of Pakistan.  HE was interviewed in August by The Economist about his political views in the video above.

Last week, on his way to a political meeting in New York City, he was detained by U.S. immigration officials and interrogated for about 30 minutes concerning his opposition to U.S. drone attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan.   He missed his flight, but was allowed to continue.

A couple of things strike me about this.  First, Imran Khan’s political opinions are no great mystery.  Anybody with access to Google or YouTube can find them in a hurry.  Second, what was did the immigration official think he was accomplishing by harassing and insulting a foreign leader?  Did the official think he had the power to make Imran Khan mend his ways?  I don’t know which is worse—to think that this reflected some high level decision in Homeland Security, or that some low level official thought that this was within his discretion, and nobody called him to account.

In the total scheme of things, there are many worse violations of human rights than Imran Khan being questioned at the Toronto airport.  But it is an example of an attitude by American officials toward the rest of the world that has generated a bad backlash, and is certain to create a worse backlash in the years ahead.

Click on Imran Khan detained and ‘interrogated over drone views’ by US immigration for Glenn Greenwald’s report for Britain’s The Guardian.

Click on Outrage over CIA’s deadly ‘double tap’ drone attacks for a report in Britain’s The Independent.

 

“Pakistan a hired gun to kill US enemies”

June 19, 2012

Julian Assange interviewed Imran Khan, the elected front-runner in Pakistan’s general election to be held later this year, for his The World Tomorrow TV program.  Imran Khan was a cricket star in Pakistan and then a lonely anti-corruption fighter, but now is a leader of the opposition to Pakistan’s government.

He said that, if elected, he will alter Pakistan’s relationship with the United States to a more equal one, in which U.S. forces do not have free rein to launch drone missile attacks in Pakistan.  He said the U.S. “war on terror” is counterproductive, and has inspired more terrorists than it has eliminated.

Although Assange is under house arrest in London, he manages to interview interesting and varied people all over the world, which I would never expect to see on the major U.S. TV stations.  He often, as with Imran Khan, draws on Wikileaks cables as backgrounds for his interviews.

Click on Imran Khan: Next man in? for background on Imran Khan from Al Jazeera English.

Click on Digital Journal for a written summary of Julian Assange’s interview with Imran Khan and links to previous episodes of The World Tomorrow.

The World Tomorrow is broadcast by the RT (Russia Today) network, which was started by the Russian government.  Assange said he has complete freedom to broadcast what he wishes, without checking with RT.

[Later]  Julian Assange has asked for political asylum in Ecuador to avoid being extradited from Britain to Sweden on sexual misconduct charges.  Click on Wikileaks founder seeks asylum in Ecuador for the Al Jazeera report.  Click on Assange asks Ecuador for asylum for Glenn Greenwald’s report.