An Oxford education helps

…when holding up the jihadi end

“The reason is that I’m not a target for the extremists because from day one I opposed the War on Terror. The terrorists don’t consider me one of the American puppet politicians in Pakistan.”

From the moment he heard the news about this week’s attack in Lahore, he was convinced that Pakistani extremists were being made the scapegoats….In his view a “foreign element” was almost certainly involved. “It could be India, Afghanistan, the Tamil Tigers. The motive is to damage the state of Pakistan and end cricket here. The shocking thing is that there was so little security for the players.”

H e denies that Pakistan is now a breeding ground for terrorists. “The madrassas may be producing fundamentalists but there is a difference between fundamentalists and militant extremists.”

He says he does not condone suicide bombing. “Suicide bombing is a result of extreme desperation where you have such hatred and anger that you are willing to use your body as a weapon. God forbid anything happened to my family but I can understand that if something happens to your dear ones then in anger…” [Times Online]

You see Imran Khan is one of those people—like Pervez Musharraf was—who seems almost reasonable because he is so presentable to middle-class drawing rooms. Take out the face, the voice and the identity of the speaker. Just look at the words in cold print, and you realise that the person saying them is an unvarnished apologist of jihadi terrorism, seeking to exploit the sympathy in Pakistani society for the jihadi cause (if not for their methods) into a platform that he can use to gain power. [He exploited religious outrage and he has expressed, err, rather quaint, views on the Indian psyche]

He is dangerous—just as General Musharraf was—because such a person is likely to have no compunctions about feeding the jihadi monster to stay in power.

8 thoughts on “An Oxford education helps”

  1. Not too sure exactly why you mention an “Oxford” education as helping here. I assume he got to Oxford off his sports skills rather than any intellectual powress; most members of the South Asian elite, whether Indian or Pakistani attend because of their family connections or other skills.

    More to the point, does anyone outside the celebrity media take this guy seriously as a politician? I can’t think of a good reason for Pakistanis to support this guy, never mind Indians. What would he know about the problems facing the average Pakistani? He might be a decent enough person in private life; but hasn’t shown anything in the public sphere that suggests any credible solutions or capacity for leadership.

  2. Afraid you’ve got it totally wrong here. Imran Khan and Musharraf have absolutely nothing in common, least of all their views on the war against the Taliban and the militant groups. Musharraf risked political capital (as well as his life) to take them on. Imran Khan has been a consistent apologist for them and has been an important player in creating political space for them (along with Fat Nawaz, no doubt).

    I know Musharraf is a man Indians love to hate, but you’re off the mark here.

  3. Ahsan,

    On the contrary, Musharraf is a man Indians love to love. Where the two are similar is in their ability to charm middle-class Indians into accepting reasoning that would have been considered odious if it came from anyone else.

    I put this to polished English. (Yes, yes, I know, Musharraf didn’t go to Oxford..)

  4. Hah. Maybe so; I can speak with less authority on what middle-class Indians look for when listening to a Pakistani leader.

    But I can say with certainty that they (IK and PM) have entirely different world-views, entirely different strategic outlooks, and entirely different politico-religious sensibilities. As such, they view the militant threat(s) very differently, polished English notwithstanding.

    I have a post planned on this idiot Imran Khan. For someone who hasn’t actually done anything in his political career other than waste the money, he does open his mouth an awful lot.

  5. @Ahsan,

    In my book the Musharraf dude’s strategic outlook is indistinguishable from his instinctive tactics. Strategic outlook is one crime he can’t be accused of.

    As for the Imran dude…you are right. He’s an idiot. And Nitin is wrong: I’ve never been impressed by him. Akram yes, Inzy yes but Imran? Hell no!

  6. As a cricket fan of Imran Kan, I do hope he does not succeed in pakistani politics. He is just a celebrity who is out of his depth. No wonder, militants don’t bother about where and what he says. As you rightly pointed out, he is an apologist for militants, who blames everyone else but paksitanis themself for all their troubles.

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