Economist Interview with Imran Kahn

Some older information….

Listened to an interesting interview yesterday with Imran Khan, now one of the leading contenders in Pakistan’s general election.

BLUF: The interview provided an interesting insight into an increasingly political figure in Pakistan. He vows to fight corruption, is firmly anti-drone policy but not anti-American, and has definite views on dealing with Pakistan’s tribal areas as well as the conduct of the “war on terror.”

A few snippets:

-The third world is the third world because of corruption: corruption destroys governance and the ability for investment (he noted an estimate from their Government Accountability Office that 8bil rupees/day lost to corruption).
– His goal is to rid Pakistan of corruption within 90 days which he believes starts with the PM and high government officials.

He devoted a couple of minutes to talk about drone attacks. DRONE ATTACKS – Called them a violation of humanitarian law
Vignette: Houses are blown up by a drone; 8 people are killed and others come to rescue/render assistance to survivors and another drone strike occurs, this kills 7 more. Others stay away despite to screams and calls for help. After an hour, more rescuers come in – 7 more killed.
– He further explained that not only are they immoral but counter-productive by creating an “anti-Americanism which is now the worst in our [Pakistan’s] history.”

He went further to discuss the US approach. “I believe that the ‘war on terror’ is the wrong approach. The US needs a credible, sovereign, democratic government in Pakistan which can become a partner.”

“I am probably the only politician to travel in the tribal areas… I’ve written a book [Warrior Race] about them… My party is by far the most popular party in the tribal areas so I’ve got all the feedback coming in.” His proposed solution is to withdraw the Pakistani army [seen as a mercenary army of the US] and ask the tribesmen to deal with the militants. “I guarantee within 30-90 days…they will finish this militancy.” He advocated pacifying the tribal areas through the people of the tribal areas not by bombing them.

Western society looks at the Muslim World as divided between fundamentalists and liberals. West sees this through the lens of the Iranian revolution. But the Arab Spring is about freedom/democracy not radicalization.

The full interview (~12min) may be found on The Economist website

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