In a recent TV interview, Pakistani politician Imran Khan said that disengagement from the U.S. was the only way to achieve peace. “At the same time, we need peaceful ties with our Afghan and Iranian neighbors,” said Khan, the chairman of the Tehreek-e-Insaf Party. The interview was broadcast by Sky News Arabia and posted on the Internet on April 5, 2014.
Following are excerpts:
Imran Khan: I have no doubt that disengaging from the U.S. would protect Pakistan from the destruction that we have witnessed in the past ten years – destruction that claimed 50,000 victims, and inflicted over 100 billion dollars in damage on the economy.
Pakistan has become more extremist, the influence of the extremist groups has grown, and there are millions of explosive devices and ammunition throughout the country. Seventy percent of the industry has come to a standstill in the border province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where our party heads the local government.
We earnestly desire peace, and disengaging from the U.S. is the only way to achieve this goal. At the same time, we need peaceful ties with our Afghan and Iranian neighbors, because Pakistan cannot sustain the consequences of the kind of military recklessness it faced in the past.