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Imran defends terror suspects

world Updated: Jan 09, 2009 18:58 IST
Imran defends terror suspects

Coming out in support of two Baloch terror suspects, the cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has told a UK court he supported the violent means of protest against a government if there was no other democratic option left to follow.

Khan, the former Pakistani cricketer and Tehreek-e-Insaf chief, made the remarks at the trial at Woolwich Crown Court of Faiz Balochi, 27, and Hyrbair Marri, 40, who deny inciting murder in Pakistan and gathering information in support of the proscribed Baluchistan Liberation Army from their London homes.

Khan said that he might have considered using violence against the government under then President Pervez Musharraf, if he had come from Baluchistan.

Giving evidence to the court via videolink from Islamabad, Khan said Musharraf had rejected a political solution because "a military man only understands military means".

Earlier, Balochi's defence counsel Baroness Kennedy QC said that he was a "casualty of geopolitics" who had been branded a terrorist after using the internet to highlight the "death and destruction" meted out to his people. Human rights groups have accused the Pakistani military of human rights violations in Balochistan, a western province of Pakistan.

Balochi, who comes from Baluchistan, was branded a terrorist after attempting to highlight the violence and destruction being meted out to his people allegedly by Musharraf's government.