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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

World

Dollar-dependent lobby maligning me: Imran Khan
PTI
Islamabad, February 07, 2014
First Published: 20:13 IST(7/2/2014)
Last Updated: 20:20 IST(7/2/2014)

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan today claimed the Taliban's decision to hold talks under Pakistan's Constitution has exposed the lobby that was deliberately maligning him with labels like "Taliban Khan".

Khan said his consistent assertion that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan's terrorism was the result of the US-led campaign against terror had been validated as the main demands of the militants were related to Pakistan extricating itself from the US-led war and the stopping of drone attacks.

READ: Pak government, Taliban begin talks

"It has always been evident, and never more starkly than today, that the dollar-dependent lobby has been deliberately maligning me with false labels such as 'Taliban Khan', simply to draw attention away from the clear link between the US war on terror and terrorism in Pakistan," he said in a statement.

The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief's detractors have often criticised him for being soft on the Taliban and for not speaking out against attacks perpetrated by militants.

But he said those who "kept harping on how TTP terror was related to a demand for imposition of Shariah stand totally exposed as the TTP agree to talk within the parameters of the Constitution" of Pakistan.

Khan noted that in the nine accords the Pakistan Army signed earlier with the Taliban, "there had been no conditionality of imposition of Shariah" or Islamic law.

"The issue is moot since the Constitution of Pakistan provides for Shariah and states no law can be made repugnant to Islam," he added.

US President Barack Obama's decision to reduce the use of drones "because of its negative fallout" is a recognition of his party's stand on the the spy plane campaign exacerbating terrorism in Pakistan.

Khan said he had always opposed military action, including sending the military into the restive tribal areas in 2004.

He claimed that "pro-war" political parties were deliberately opposing peace through dialogue with "false narratives". These parties and "US dictated narratives stand exposed today", he said.

Khan hoped that the the dialogue process with the Taliban would moves forward and bring peace to Pakistan.

READ: Still a long way to go


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