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Imran Khan vows to continue fight against US drone strikes

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 - 4:39pm IST | Agency: ANI
Khan said he told the American officials that the drone attacks were illegal and counterproductive as they only help create more militants and give the United States a bad image. He said he also told them that those who supported the drone strikes were not friends of the US.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has said that despite objections by the United States, he will continue his campaign against CIA's drone strikes in Pakistani tribal areas that kill innocent people.

"Drone attacks must stop," The Nation quoted Khan, as saying at a fund-raising dinner in New York.

Earlier, Khan was offloaded from a New York-bound plane at Toronto International Airport by US immigration officials and interrogated about his view on the drone strikes in Pakistan. He took another flight for New York after being cleared and reached New York four hours late from his schedule.

Khan said he told the American officials that the drone attacks were illegal and counterproductive as they only help create more militants and give the United States a bad image. He said he also told them that those who supported the drone strikes were not friends of the US.

"My stand on drones is very clear. I did not say sorry to them. I still couldn't understand why they did this. The official was questioning me about drones but I think he himself didn't understand what he was talking about," he added. "But I told them what I say in public -- I'm not like those who say one thing during private meeting with the Americans, and something else publicly," Khan had said

Mary Ellen O'Connell, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, who attended the dinner to support Khan's stand against drone strikes, said drone strikes were a violation of international law and must be ended immediately.

Earlier this month Khan had led thousands of supporters - and a group of American peace activists - on a march to the edge of South Waziristan to protest against drones.

Pakistan has time and again called for an end to drone attacks, terming them counter-productive in the fight against militancy, and has urged for alternative solutions.

The US, however, has refused to do so, and have continued its drone war against deadly militant outfits like the Haqqani Network, taking shelter in the restive tribal region of North Waziristan.


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