Khan's Pakistan 'would shoot US drones'
05 October 2012
Pakistani politician Imran Khan has said that he would be prepared to authorise the shooting down of US drone aircraft in Pakistan should he be made prime minister in next year's election.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Khan, who is founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, said that he would be prepared to take action if diplomacy failed to stop the attacks.
The US drone strikes against al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in parts of Pakistan such as Waziristan have been "counterproductive" for US interests, Khan said. A recent report by Stanford University and New York University in the United States found that just 2 per cent of those killed by drone strikes in Pakistan were top-level militant leaders.
After a strike, the "near relatives" of those killed would join militia groups, Khan added.
"This thing that this is accurate in only killing al-Qaida is a myth," he said, "not just due to the Stanford University statistics. The people will tell you that the vast majority of people killed either are innocent civilians or some sort of low-level militants."
"This [current Pakistani] government is completely complicit in it. …They are telling the people of Pakistan that they are condemning the drone attacks, on the other hand they have covertly and tacitly given them their approval."
If he became Prime Minister of Pakistan in next year's election, Khan said he wouldfirst take his argument directly to the United States before trying United Nations action if that did not succeed.
"Is a total breach of a country's sovereignty because an ally is being bombed by its own ally," he said.
Shooting down US drones would only be considered if the US continued to "violate our sovereignty and make it difficult for us to fight this war," he said.
"As long as the Pakistani army is considered to be collaborators with the US there is no question of winning this war. It's a neverending war and we are sinking in this."
In: Other Middle East
Tags: Imran, Khan's, Pakistan, would, shoot, down, drones, iran
Location: Pakistan (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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