Afghan war brought 'radicalization' biggest disaster for US-Pak people: Imran Khan

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Davos (Switzerland), Jan 28 (ANI): Former cricket star turned Pakistani politician Imran Khan has criticised the war in Afghanistan, saying that is causing 'radicalization' that would be disastrous not only for the people of the US, but also of Pakistan in a bigger way.

"This war on terror is a disaster for the people of the U.S. It's a bigger disaster for the people of Pakistan. It is causing more radicalization, more polarization in the society. The war is perceived by the vast majority as a war against Islam and because it is perceived as a war against Islam there is no shortage of people willing to die for it," Fox New quoted Khan, who has been working the corridors of the World Economic Forum in Davos, as saying.

Expressing pessimism about the prospects for the war in Afghanistan to succeed, the leader of the Tehreek-e-Insaf party in Pakistan also said that the situation in his own country has become worse in the past few years.

He singled out the recent assassination of provincial Governor Salman Taseer, who was shot by a bodyguard opposed to his relatively liberal views, and linked it to the increasing radicalisation in the society.

Khan said Taseer had called for leniency in the case of a Christian mother sentenced to death under the blasphemy law, which he opposed. In the wake of his assassination, people have come out and staged protests in support of his confessed killer.

"The Governor being killed for something so trivial. Before 2004 his statement wouldn't have even made the newspapers, and he ends up getting killed, and the killer becomes a hero. That shows how radicalized society has become," Khan added.

He said this high-profile case is not the first example of a frightening trend in Pakistan, and added that al Qaeda has been benefiting from this kind of chaos.

"The invasion of Afghanistan was all wrong because the Taliban were not terrorists. They were religious fundamentalists. They were just fundamentalists reacting to the violence of the Afghan warlords. The more military action, the more fighting, the more occupation and collateral damage, the more the beneficiary is Al Qaeda, because my enemy's enemy is my friend," Khan says.

"Things are much worse in Pakistan than in Tunisia. Every now and then you have riots in Pakistan-not at the same level, but you get the feeling that any time something could happen," he added.

He claimed that the protracted nature of the war, and the fact that Afghanistan is still lacking in development, has created a condition that has eventually evolved into "a Pashtun struggle".

Fifteen million Pashtuns in Afghanistan and 25 million in Pakistan, and the tribal belt has got involved, so the original aim of the war was lost," he said. (ANI)

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