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Talks with Taliban only road to peaceful end to war, says Imran Khan

London, Mon, 12 Nov 2012 ANI

London, Nov. 12 (ANI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has said that a negotiated settlement with the Taliban is the only way forward to a peaceful end to the war on terror.

"If you stop the drones, withdraw the army and engage the tribes, they are the ones who will, in time, win the war," The News quoted Khan, as saying.

Khan also refused rejected the notion that he is 'Taliban Khan' or a 'U.S. stooge'. He said that when he opposes drone attacks, his 'English-speaking enemies' label him as 'Taliban Khan' while liberal sections of the society gives him the name of 'an extremist' and to the militants he is a 'U.S. stooge'.

"Never have I once given a statement in support of the Taliban. Never once have I failed to condemn an attack on civilians. I don't know what I'm supposed to do - pick up a gun and charge against them? It's a very thin line. One slip of the tongue and you can be killed here. There's that level of fanaticism," Khan said.

Khan said war and corruption are irredeemably linked: "We have the lowest tax to GDP ratio in the world - 61 per cent of our national MPs pay no tax at all. Keeping Pakistan as a frontline state and prolonging the war allows the elite to rake in the foreign aid."

"A corrupt status quo has been ruling the Muslim world, but now the majority want democratic rights. We have women who were educated in English-medium (speaking) schools, and we have boys who have been to the madrassas (religious schools). Our support comes from across the class divide, and that's why it's so exciting," he said.

"For the past three decades, I have watched the country degenerate. Someone as privileged as me has a choice. I can try to do something, or I could do nothing, and in that case, I cannot complain," Khan further said. (ANI)

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