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Imran Khan's vows to 'quit politics' if ISI link proved

Amid speculation that his party was being covertly backed by the Pakistan's powerful spy agency ISI, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan today vowed to "quit politics" if the claim was proved.

world Updated: Dec 12, 2011 22:10 IST

Amid speculation that his party was being covertly backed by the Pakistan's powerful spy agency ISI, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan on Monday vowed to "quit politics" if the claim was proved.

The legendary cricketer rubbished claims that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was sponsoring Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party.

"I will quit politics if the ISI's support to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf is proved," he vowed at a news conference held here.

In the last few months, Imran’s party has emerged as a major player on Pakistan's uncertain political scenario particularly after it held a massive rally in October in Lahore which attracted thousands

However, there has been growing speculation that the emergence of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf as a political force may be due to the covert support of the Pakistan Army and military run ISI.

Amid suggestions that Khan is being backed by the powerful security establishment, several political leaders have joined the party.

Former Pakistan Air Force chief and veteran politician Asghar Khan, who has often called for better relations with India in recent years, joined Imran's party today.

Asghar Khan announced his decision to join Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party at a news conference held at his residence.

The former Pakistan cricket captain also attended the conference.

The 90-year-old former air chief pledged his unconditional support to Imran's party and said steps would be taken to merge his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Istaqlal party with the other party.

Asghar Khan said he was stepping down as the Tehrik-e-Istaqlal chief. Imran's said he would take the Tehrik-e-Istaqlal along in all respects.

Replying to a question, Asghar Khan said Pakistan had not seen a "single fair, transparent and unrigged election" since its creation and this was "highly unfortunate".

Endorsing his stance, Imran pledged to continue his struggle to ensure polls free of rigging.