A humble effort to wake up Pakistan through personal and borrowed thoughts.
You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]
Monday, January 21, 2008
Imran wants re-look of US' Pak policy
Imran Khan, is arriving in the US this week on a week-long tour to ''urge'' powerful lawmakers and influential policymakers to have a serious re-look at the US' Pakistan policy.
He would also brief them about his assessment of the ground realities in Pakistan, specially the North West Frontier Province.
This is the first visit of a major Pakistani politician after the assassination of the former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto last month.
During the first few days of his visit beginning January 22, Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, would be spending time at the Capitol Hill meeting some of the key Congressmen including Senate Majority Leader, Henry Reid, and policymakers.
Organizers of his schedule in Washington said Imran Khan would also meet members of several key Congressional committees, which play an important role in formulating US policy towards Pakistan, in both Chambers - the Foreign Relations Committee and the Armed Services Committee.
''They need to know the ground realities. Up till now the only input they have got on the ground realities is either from the (Bush) Administration or from the Government of Pakistan, both of whom have given them (lawmakers and policymakers) wrong information. Look where we are today, a real crazy situation,'' Ali Zaid, International Co-ordinator of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told NDTV in an interview on the eve of his arrival.
''We are going to tell them that the United States needs to reevaluate and re-look at the way this administration deals with Pakistan,'' he added.
However, Khan has indicated he would prefer not to meet any official from the Bush Administration, as he blames (its) policies have been mainly responsible for the sharp rise in extremism and militancy in his country.
''Imran Khan has no meeting with anybody in Bush Administration. This Administration is on its way out. They have just got seven-eight months. Instead we are meeting the lawmakers and policymakers who advise the administration on what to do,'' said Zaidi, who spends his time between California, Dubai and Karachi.
Zaidi said during his meetings, Khan would urge the Administration to ask Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to have a policy of ''engaging'' the people of NWFP and not ''bombing'' them.
''You do not need to have peace talks with the extremist. But you need to have the people of the area engaged in a dialogue. By collateral damage, you are actually creating more extremism. This is not the way to fight the war on terror,'' Zaidi further said sharing the views of his party leader.
''You need to befriend them and invest in them. You can't earn peace by bombing them. This would be his message,'' he said.
Khan would also be articulating his views at various other meetings - think tanks, universities and also with Pakistani expatriates.
He is scheduled to address meetings at the prestigious American University, Columbia University and Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of the biggest think tank on the Hill. He would also address a breakfast meeting of Asia Society in New York.
At least two large meetings with the expatriate Pakistani community have been organized in New York and New Jersey.