Why Imran Khan won’t go to India

Published: March 15, 2012

Was Khan’s decision a moral one taken on the grounds that Rushdie hurt Muslims’ feelings, or was it a political move? PHOTO: EXPRESS

As political debates go, the recent announcement that Imran Khan will not be going to the India Today Conclave due to Salman Rushdie’s presence there, left opinions divided, with some calling Khan’s decision the right one, and others referring to it as pandering to the right.

Unfortunately, neither one is correct.

While Khan would argue that his decision is based on the “immeasurable hurt caused to Muslims across the globe” by Rushdie, his decision, just days before the event should not come as a surprise. He has been consistent in saying he would refuse to attend any event at which Mr Rushdie was a guest. Plus, any Pakistani with half-a-brain, let alone a politician, would realise the risk to their own life and limb presented by being seen on the same platform.

A similar statement at the Kolkata Book Fair in January met with a prompt reply from Rushdie, who tweeted,

“Thirty years ago @ImranKhanPTI was a fan at my 1982 Delhi lecture and 100% secular. Now my work ‘humiliates’ his ‘faith’? Which is the real Imran?”

Good question, and one that got a swift reply from the PTI’s secretary general.

“Rushdie should know that in 1982 he was just another author and had not published his blasphemic Satanic Verses which he did in 1988. Since then Salman Rushdie is a pariah (to say the least) in the Muslim world.”

The response is only half true. Rushdie in fact won the Booker Prize for Midnight’s Children in 1981. He was a star in the field of literature, not “just another author”. But the fact remains, Khan did nothing wrong at that point because he cannot, nor has he ever claimed, to be able to see the future. He did not know that Rushdie world of magical realism would soon include a story offensive to much of the world’s Muslim populace, starting with the then living leader who was not-so-subtly hinted at in the book, Ayatollah Khomeini, who would later issue the famous fatwa against Rushdie.

Depending on the interpretation of the piece, Rushdie’s work may be portrayed by some, especially those unfamiliar with Islam and the rules for portraying God and the Prophet, as an example of free speech. There is an underlying problem there. While free speech is and should remain a right, incendiary speech is not.

Would the world have been a better place had Rushdie not written the book? Probably not, but would it have been a better place if his apology for “the distress the publication has occasioned to the sincere followers of Islam” were accepted? At least 50 people died worldwide because of the fatwa, which by the way, was rejected by multiple Al-Azhar University scholars on legal grounds.

However coming back to Imran Khan, was the Kaptaan’s decision really a moral one taken on the grounds that Rushdie hurt Muslims’ feelings, or was it a political move to strengthen his support among the right-wing?

Khan, who is described by the British newspaper The Guardian as having a conservative agenda, could make his point much more clear and acceptable to the left and liberals if he had simply maintained the same honor code domestically.

Instead, he has let his party members share the stage with the ‘Defy’ Pakistan crowd, the same group that includes such moral beacons as Samiul Haq and the entire Sipah-e-Sihaba Pakistan/Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat leadership.

For those unfamiliar with SSP, they are the kind that consider Shias to be non-Muslims, and are believed to be linked with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. You know the guys who kill soldiers, men, women and children in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab? They, apparently, are not people who cause immeasurable hurt to Muslims across the globe.

Just in Pakistan.

Or maybe it’s because they ‘kill’ people. It’s hard to hurt a dead man’s feeling.

Mr Khan and his party’s credentials as a viable threat to the established parties in the upcoming elections can be seen through the amount of popular support he has. He provides hope that the country will be cleaned up and national interest – defined as whatever the army says it is,  will be protected. Yet he associates with questionable characters and keeps blaming domestic terror on foreign hands.

Al Qaeda is just one example of a terrorist group that attacked those that were once its benefactors. TTP, SSP, and a host of other letters come up when you look at the ones attacking Pakistan. They too, are attacking those that used to fund them. Terrorism in Pakistan may have increased due to the war in Pakistan, but it was never imported. It was, and is, homegrown, and largely home-funded.

The only way to stop it is to fight extremist ideology, cut off support, including from within the establishment. This may go against some powerful players’ interests, but if Kaptaan wants to lead this nation to glory, he needs to do what is best for the people, not the khakis or mullahs, and that includes keeping them alive.

Only when Mr Khan accepts this, not just personally but publicly, and only when he realises that negotiating with terrorists is not a valid option for Pakistan (the US can pack up and leave Afghanistan for a safe homeland, we can’t just leave our own country), will he be ready for the show.

Vaqas Asghar

Vaqas Asghar

A sub-editor on the Islamabad city pages of The Express Tribune, Vaqas holds a Master's degree in IR from Iqra University. Before joining ET, he taught history and was also a member of the editorial staff at Blue Chip Magazine. He tweets as @vasghar (twitter.com/vasghar)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • pakistan zindabad

    Good decision by imran khan welldone Allah o akhbar . why are u jealous from imran decision.Recommend

  • Uzair

    “Only when Mr Khan accepts this, not just personally but publicly, and only when he realises that negotiating with terrorists is not a valid option for Pakistan”. Why not? Even the US has come down to negotiating with the terrorists. We’ve been incompetent in stopping them so far and I can safely say we never will. For the sake of more innocent lives being lost, I say do whatever you have to do as long as you are able to stop them bombing our streets and market places. Recommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    One of the things that interests me the most is the extrapolation of IK’s engagement with fringe groups as his evil plan to let them hang out free and engage in aggression. I think the discussion is misplaced to begin with, because most of the people are unable to back it up with facts on what other avenues are available to the state; fight with them? Do you even know how much revenue Govt. collects and after adjusting for fixed costs, how much remains on the table? Now let’s look at prosecution option; unfortunately, it is not only costly but also very time-consuming because of the constraints of the due process since we don’t want other missing person cases. Which leaves the final option to engage them so that they can be de-fanged temporarily and once you have the resources, go against them and contain them. This is most likely PTI’s strategy because I remember IK alluding to in one of the interviews. Now you can disagree whether this strategy will work or not. But it is certainly not the same as being in cahoots with militant groups. Recommend

  • shakil khan

    The real question is why the organisers of this conclave would want a religious fanatic to attend.In a place full of rational and critical thinkers what good would a closed minded religious person do.the conclave is better off without him being present.The world must not surrender before the idiocies of the religious.they’ve held the world hostage for far too long as it is.Recommend

  • Torrent

    Oh come on! you are drawing too many conclusions from one decision. You start your blog with IK’s response to Rushdie and end it on PTI’s approach towards the War on Terror – amusing to say the least.
    .
    No leader will ever attend a conference with Rushdie be it IK, NS or even the late BB. (especially Benazir Bhutto)Recommend

  • zeeshan siddiqui

    This intolerant stance of imran betrays his real mentality,that he would refuse to be even in the same room as a writer of books says a lot about his mindset.One may not agree with everything a writer says or does,but that doesn’t mean to take religious zealotry to the extent that imran khan has done.If he can’t handle being around rational people,then he should have declined the invitation in the first place.And it’s better that he chose not to go as sane people are better off not burdened with the babbling of the religious extremists.Recommend

  • faraz afridi

    Religious people should themselves have the common sense not to go to debates or discussions with open minded people who rely on reason.Imran khan is better suited for discussions where the brain is not much involved.Where logic and reason prevail,the religious fanatics can’t last long.Recommend

  • http://www.junaidahmeed.wordpress.com Junaid Ahmed

    I just want to say that, whether Khan’s decision was moral or political, its totally pointless debate. We must appreciate his decision rather than questioning such a little things which have no impact on Pakistan directly.Plus it would give a message to Indians (PPl + Govt) that Khan is man of principle and a true voice/leader of Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad ! Recommend

  • Torrent

    *So now he is Taliban Khan, if he had gone to the conclave right-wingers would have detested him as a ‘Yahoodi Lobby’. Give him a break people! *

    I am upset with how we judge IK on small issues like Rushdie.

    IK represents a fair percentage of Pakistan today and hardly any Pakistani – liberal or conservative – would appreciate a leader attending a conclave with Salman Rushdie – how complex is that to understand?Recommend

  • Pole

    “Instead, he has let his party members share the stage with the ‘Defy’ Pakistan crowd, the same group that includes such moral beacons as Samiul Haq and the entire Sipah-e-Sihaba Pakistan/Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat leadership.”.
    Correct. To add to that, What khan is doing is what unethical and morally currupt politicians do all over the world. And that is “Be seen to be friendly with people your voters love and be seen unfriendly with people your voters hate”.

    By not sharing the stage with Rushdie, he is not being friendly with a person who is hated by most Muslims. By letting his party man share the stage with communal and sectarian group leaders, he is being friendly with people his voters love.

    I pity the people who think khan is a messiah. He is just another morally bankrupt politician. The only difference between him and other politicians is that he is better in the looks department and he played great cricket.Recommend

  • Tahir

    You have two options, talk to militants or fight them. Fighting has made things worse for the last 8 years, I don’t see what logic you see in continue fighting in the war on terror.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    East or west imran is best please folk vote him for god sake.Recommend

  • My Weak Wedding

    Its a man’s choice to go or not to. We have bigger issues on this side of the border to rant or chant about then this petty matter. Besides what good would come out or had ever came out of India Today Conclave.. Recommend

  • Sajid

    If I find myself in a position to choose between two evils, the money wise corrupt and the ideology wise corrupt, I will choose the money wise corrupt on ANY day.
    And that is the case why I am opposed to IK and PTI since day one. To me, despite their bad governance and highly “money-wise corrupt” lot, Pakistan Peoples Party is the right party to lead this country of the current craphole that populist politicians want to take it to.
    And no matter how efficient good governance PTI promises to deliver, It can only be catastrophic in the long run for Pakistan because the ideology they rally upon is corrupt to the core. Recommend

  • faizan

    suddenly imran and pti became the biggest problem of pakistan in da eyes of these people…..Recommend

  • Shayan Ali Tejani

    Surely a move to please the Mullahs and the illiterates. Excellent article!Recommend

  • http://Islamabad Awais Ch

    Don’t argue with idiots. They’ll drag you down to their level and beat you. Good decesion IKRecommend

  • Mard-e-Haq

    Unfortunately, Kaptaan Khan has shown neither the spine nor the temerity to take on the Mullahs and the Khakis. Corruption happens when Mullahs and the army top brass allows it to subvert the political process to their own advantage. Khan Sahib’s avowed manifesto of tackling corruption in 19 days upon seizing power is a pathetic joke as he will pander to both the mullahs and the army.Recommend

  • LotacRacy

    I am afraid you’ve drawn out a very complicated picture of a very minor episode. Is Rushdie the symbol of liberalism? He is not any different from the banned groups that mock communities.Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad

    Excellent article. The fact is, Imran is a very confused character and so are his supporters.Recommend

  • Umer

    SSP is also accused of Gojra incident which was certainly blasphemy as churches and bibles were burnt. Also Christians were burnt alive which is a very horrendous act indeed. At least Rushdie did not kill anyone. Why is SSP more to Imran’s liking than Rushdie?Recommend

  • http://paki_rm@yahoo.com Ummar

    Dear Writer, Mr. Khan’s decision is pretty good in “all terms” of boycotting invitation to an event in India where the rushdie presence is to b expected. To say that, first of all there might be personal/political errors in Kaptaans’ life but for every muslim (practicing/not, liberal/con) he/she must stand up. There has to be red line somewhere, as there are no-go areas in different countries. So. when it comes to Quran and Beloved Prophet there has to b red line…no being should be welcomed but categorically condemned.

    If thirty year back or so, Khan was fan of rush-die but at that time no normal human being could predict someones’ future blunders/errors through hidden knowledge of unseen. So, Khan has been a normal human being, simply he cant view unseen knowledge regarding someone in future person name rushdie in late 80′s will commit act of hurting muslims around globe through blashphemy.

    Sir Imran Khan got one more opposition firstly it was politcal status-quo in shape of zardari club to nawaz league to maulana diesel and now other propaganda machine i.e. rushdie twitter tweets.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Another excellent piece – kudos. I cannot argue with Imran Khan’s decision in opting out of the India Today conclave – it would have been a gargantuan blunder from someone who seems to have played most of his cards right (pun intended) in the last couple of years. He has now managed to extract further mileage from this decision – and after all, there isn’t much that he could say to Rushdie that hasn’t been said yet, is there? The author has apologized once, which made absolutely no difference to anyone – there are enough vested interests to fan the flames and keep a large section of their co-religionists in the stone age. Further, if he did not pander to the extreme right, which constituency could he possibly target so profitably? Imran Khan serves up a heady mix of hardcore Islam and in-your-face anti-Americanism which gives him large scale organization support from his Difa-e-Pakistan friends and increasingly jingoistic elements of the population; this has a cascading effect in pulling in further supporters at grassroot level – it is a winning formula in a conservative society where everyone is trying to outdo the other in being a better muslim. If only achievement in social welfare and selfless service were the norm, you guys should be electing Edhi instead.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Khan’s stance is absolutely baffling. His gags at the thought of being in the same room as Salman Rushdie, whose greatest crime to date is writing a book. But he feels not the slightest discomfort shaking hands with fierce hate-mongers, and even proud murderers that are home-grown?

    By the way, the author needs to understand what “incendiary speech” implies. Rushdie never attacked, or promoted violence against Muslims. At most he satirized the ideology of Islam, which I understand can be quite hurtful for Muslims, but does not really classify as “incendiary”.Recommend

  • http://Tribune.com.pk Ijaz Khan

    Imran Khan is the Real Leader of all Muslim World.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    I know that Imran’s every move must be criticized, but what is wrong with his decision not to go to an event Rushdie is a part of? Whether it was moral or political, it doesn’t matter, the decision, purely symbolic, was the right one. The Difa-e-Pakistan has nothing to do with this, don’t drag that in. And why must Imran always pander to the so-called liberals, who criticize his every move and aren’t going to support him anyways?Recommend

  • Eying Propaganda

    objectively written. raised fair questions ! goodRecommend

  • Aarvey

    @Junaid Ahmed:

    ” Imran khan is a man of principle”

    What principle? When his party shares the dais in DPC with unsavory characters like Sami ul haq, hamid gul, sheikh Rasheed And Hafeez syed. All of them are professed Shia and Ahmadi haters not to mention India.Recommend

  • munna

    MR IK must think like he his the future PM of Pakistan. This decision does not give the ompression of a vood leader. He should attend itRecommend

  • Zoaib

    Rushdie is not a Pakistani, while Difa-e-Pakistan contains religious and extremist groups who live in Pakistan and have some following in certain parts of the population. PTI wants to keep ENGAGEMENT as a policy towards the far-right organizations in Pakistan, rather than ISOLATING them and then the only option left is to ELIMINATE them. Surely there are other better ways to deal with the problem of militancy in Pakistan, especially that of the religious kind. Re-integration of such organizations and involving them in some way in nation building is a better idea and could save Pakistan from further polarization. Why do not we give PTI a fair chance to do this?

    IK not attending the Indian conference is simply a manifestation of what he feels about Rushdie as a devout Muslim, nothing more. He does not have any love lost for organizations that use violence (both political and religious) as is evident from his book and other documentaries (e.g. Islam and America through eyes of Imran Khan) but being a Pakistani political leader he has to keep them engaged and try to bring about conciliation between the polarized extremes of Pakistan. The need of the day is to start a civilized debate between the polarized extremes in Pakistan and IK has repeatedly stated that both in his book and other articles.Recommend

  • Hashmi

    Death to Rushdie..IK must be commended on rightly boycotting..Recommend

  • Mohsin

    Imran Khan is right…………..author is finding false excuses to defame him………Recommend

  • A Shahid

    @sajid

    Please take your ‘corruption endorsing ideology’ and bury it deep in the Arabian sea. Pakistani nation needs electricity, gas, water, food, health and education services, employment and investment etc. not some ideological and philosophical mumbojumbo satisfaction. After what PPP has done to this country in its 4 years of oppressive rule, it takes a person completely devoid of any ideological principles to continue supporting it. The very reason Pakistan is in the current ‘craphole’ as you put it is called PPP. Recommend

  • Pak Tester

    I am 34 years old and never did wish to read the Rushdie novels at all. Not because of any blasphemous things but because it didn’t mattered at all. Only because of the Hoo-Hallas in the Jaipur Literary festival that prompted me to read his novels to get to the point. I need to tell you that his English is very good but the books are pathetic (exclude Midnight Children, for which he has got the booker prize also). These incidents has promoted the book “Satanic verses” more letting him earn too much more money.

    Coming to the blasphemous point, there was nothing of any such kind. All are going by the words of Ayatollah Khomeini way back in the 80s, without even reading the book. Don’t you think that fatwa has promoted the book the most and Rushdie must not had earn so much money and fame, which he has, thanks to Ayatollah Khomeini.

    Irony, though the book is banned in Pakistan, India has also banned the book and allowed Rushdie to come to India after the book incident. India being a so called secular country, with Muslims as minority, has banned the book, whereas, Turkey being a Islamic country has not even thought of banning it in the last 25 years. They have found nothing blasphemous in it. Are the peoples and the leaders in Turkey not Muslims for not banning the book. I think they are sensible and had gone by reading the book and putting their good sense, rather than going by Khomeini’s words. Unlike India and Pakistan.Recommend

  • Maryam Nawaz

    I jst want to ask that are WE to blame for pakistan’s current situation or the foreign powers are responsible for it ???Recommend

  • maiden

    Very well written. IK = Death of our country and Talibanisation.Recommend

  • http://www.causes.com/causes/653962-stand-up-for-your-baloch-brothers/ Abdur Rahman

    Is it the purpose of journalists to spread ‘CONFUSION??We have heard Imran Khan’s views on Islam and they are not conservative, he condemns the taliban and he says he will not allow any private militant organization to carry weapons and/or to operate in terrorist activities. These views have been unequivocally presented by him many a times…so why do some journalists always throw in confusion by mentioning Rushdie or of a certain presence at the Difae Pakistan council.

    For the Difae Pak his party has said that they sent their representative NOT in support of Sipah sehaba or any militant organization (which was part of the crowd, not the stage) but to support the general motto about Pakistan’s defense

    How can you forget that Imran Khan is the ONLY politicain to OPENLY CONDEMN: Mumtaz Qadr!!! And just listen to the videos what the Mullahs have been saying about Imran after he did this.(the videos are available on youtube)Recommend

  • Shiraz

    @ writer, u seem to forgot Sipah e Muhammad and Tehreek e Nifaz e Fiqah hai Jafaria, all of them are outlawed. You have to be biased, if SSP, TTP are wrong, means SPM and TNFJ should also be condemned.Recommend

  • Hamza

    By “just another author” I am sure PTI secretary was not undermining the literary contribution (if any) of Rushdie but I think what he meant was that he was just like another author who don’t incite people by hurting their religious sentiments.

    As far as your brilliant solution goes “The only way to stop it is to fight extremist ideology, cut off support, including from within the establishment”. I think the matter is far more worse than you consider. If a small pocket of establishment’s support can make terrorist so lethal then I think we would never be able to root out this problem because any kind of terrorist organization would always have some kind of support from someone and somewhere in the world. You made war on Taliban when they did nothing to harm you. You got scared by American threats and supported them in wiping out an entire nation and you still think that war is the solution. Stop blaming Imran Khan for what he did not do. It was not Imran Khan who was dreaming to become the Ameer ul Momineen at one time. Point your guns somewhere else. Recommend

  • Shazzam

    His confusion begins when he fails to take the issue as per the subject. He relates this topic to anything and everything under the sun in a desperate attempt to make it more wordy. I am sure that most people have never ever read Satanic Verses so are not in the educated mental state to comment on why it was rejected. I have read it and so I can easily criticize this article. This is not about what the fatwa has done but it is whether freedom of speech can be stretched beyond the realms of humanity. As per this author, it is more of a freedom to abuse, freedom to slander and maybe freedom to kill !Recommend

  • Asdf

    “While free speech is and should remain a right, incendiary speech is not.”

    Quran is incendiary speech from the perspective of non-believers. Numerous verses preaching hate for the non-believers.Recommend

  • Raza

    Superb article and analysis, depicting one of the huge problems in the way that Imran Khan is doing his politics. I am neither a PTI supporter nor an Imran Khan fan, but I’m still hoping the PTI comes to power next year, because as the article points out, it is still the one and only untried source of hope amongst the same old corrupt faces. But Imran Khan needs to get a reality check in many areas, and one of those is that he cannot negotiate with real terrorist groups. Associating himself with such groups is not the right move; even if it does win him some support at the right. You do not negotiate with terrorists; you defeat them.Recommend

  • American

    U know I think the Anti-PTI crowd needs to come clean about their real reasons for their hatred against PTI. Because, the arguments they’re coming up with are terrible. Just come out and say it – ur all just against Islam and anyone who associates with it. That’s why u will accept theifs as ur leader but not PTI. Seriously, go live in another country if u want thatRecommend

  • Guardian

    my dEar!
    .
    I think u r mistaken … T.T.P is purely an internationally funded organization… Supported by some foreign agencies strongly, to engage the army at different fronts… how coME a muslim killing another muslim/muslims, coz he has or had coNnECti0NZ wid army or any other govT organizatioN… Or how can a muslim make an atTempt to have a suicide blast in the m0sQue….
    .
    ThIs all is a part of pRopaganda which the enemies of Pakistan are planNing against our dEar m0therland… to dEtRAck the people in the name of islam nd planting the seeds ov haterism towards army…
    .
    Wake up nd learn whuz ryt nd whuz wroNg…Recommend

  • shah

    why are we so allergic to Difa e pakistan !! we are not a monolithic society … There are many different people living in pak !! so we should all try to atleast listen to other point of view !!! this goes both ways … no one can press there believes on others :) Recommend

  • jj

    if you disaggree with Mr.khan so kindly let us know what will you do if you receive the invitation and if you were in the position of imran khan?Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala

    Another bruhaha by Imran .Trying to get political mileage .Thats all .As usual .Recommend

  • peshwari

    if you want to drag sipah sahabah into all this why to take the cover of imran khan.write another article rather then jumping from pti to sipah sahabah and then finally to ttp……..in my point of view he did what every Muslim should have done….. Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    Its politics. But they would lose many liberal votes for this stance. But wait, he never had those in the first place.Recommend

  • Umer

    @jj:

    if you disaggree with Mr.khan so
    kindly let us know what will you do if
    you receive the invitation and if you
    were in the position of imran khan?

    Either go there OR boycott SSP/Difa-e-Pakistan too for doing worst than Rushdie who did not kill anyone. We won’t be hypocrites like Imran, boycotting Rushdie but in cahoots with SSP and other like groups who are accused of doing worst.Recommend

  • jj

    @umer imran khan z hypocrites but where ?Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    Pathetic article as usual.Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    ET is the new version of Sana Bucha’s show LEKINRecommend

  • rana

    Come on people! Pakistan have tons of other issues beside Rashdie. Let’s not gauge imran khan on unimportant and orthogonal mere issues but on more important issues which pakistan have in ample.

    @Umer
    Politicians are suppose to engage all elements into talk to bring them to main streamline whether it would be SSP/Difa-e-Pakistan or any other write or left group—imran khan is doing the same then why writer and people like you make biased efforts to badmouth him. Recommend

  • Cynical

    I wonder what IK wiil do, if he accidentally bump into Salman Rushdie in mid-air while availing the same flight.
    I guess, being the pious,upright gentleman he is, he will request the crew to open the exit door and throw himself out in the space believing he will be rescued by divine intervention. And I belive he will be, ’cause God is always on the side of the beliver.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    @Maryam Nawaz:
    HI!!!!!!Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    So many articles on the Tribune have the same theme. Why is Imran doing this, why is Imran doing that? Why has he betrayed the liberals, why doesn’t he try to get liberal support? Apart from these so-called “liberals” having never supported Imran having reserved special venom for him over the years, not they act as though it was them that backed Imran through thick and thin all this time, and he has suddenly betrayed them.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Torrent:
    I wonder if Mr Khan shares enclaves with leaders of Lashker e tioba whose followers gunned down 41 Indian Muslims and 130 non-Muslims from 12 different countriesRecommend

  • Raw is War

    we wont miss him.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    @Raw is War:
    Then you shouldn’t have invited him.Recommend

  • Sane

    @Umer
    You the only supporter of Rushdie left. Great courage and many ‘congrats’. Idealize him and open an institution to compare Rushdie with SSP/Difa e Pakistan and others. God ‘bless’ you.Recommend

  • Cynical

    Hypocracy at it’s best.Recommend

  • Ahmer

    Nonsense article !Recommend

  • Anthony Permal

    You can buy Da Vinci Code and Holy Blood Holy Grail in any book store in Pakistan, including the big name ones.

    These books vehemently blaspheme against another great Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Isa. In fact, they go so far as to make claims of sexual bent and other allegations that would result in country-wide outrage in Pakistan if they were said in a similar manner for Muhammad.

    Yet, Imran Khan and his supporters have no issues on this happening within Pakistan’s borders, and will go to make statements like ‘he offended Muslims’ sentiments’ as their reason for not sharing the stage with him.

    Does anyone else see the hypocrisy here? Oh wait, I forgot, it’s a political move. Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Mr imran Khan might appear to be a populist, a controvercial personality and very emotional but he is not an idiot and definitely shows that he has a gesunde verstand( healthy commonsense). As a muslim you do not wish to play the role of a samaritan and seem to be involved with an outcaste from the house of Islam. Humanity, morals and ethics have nothing to do with such action.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • http://dunyanews.tv/index.php?key=Q2F0SUQ9aG9tZQ== jawadamin

    i totally agree with Junaid Ahmed that we should appreciate his decision rather than questioning…Recommend

  • http://www.causes.com/causes/653962-stand-up-for-your-baloch-brothers/ Abdur Rahman

    @ Umer

    Imran Khan has condemned all militant organizations, and he has clearly said that he will not allow any one of them to carry weapons and he even condemned Mumtaz Qadri. What about that?
    The PTI said it DID NOT go to support any Sipah e sahaba (there are 40 political and religious parties in DPC) but to support the basic motto i.e. Pakistan’s defence and their stance against drone attacks, even sheikh rasheed was there.
    BTW the DPC is also saying that they want to eradicate sectarian violence from Pakistan–Though some of them might not practice what they preach there is no harm in listening to and sharing with their basic motto.
    Imran Khan can choose to go on say that ‘oh the DPC members are all killers and terrorists’ (which is surely not true for all of them) but that won’t be a good decision given the fact they are not saying any ‘negative’ thing in their rallys.
    How about we suggest that the DPC should include Shia organizations too, that would be a better move rather than sidelining them. We need peace and unity in Pakistan.
    Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Rex Minor: Says
    “Mr imran Khan might appear to be a populist, a controvercial personality and very emotional but he is not an idiot and definitely shows that he has a gesunde verstand( healthy commonsense). As a muslim you do not wish to play the role of a samaritan and seem to be involved with an outcaste from the house of Islam. Humanity, morals and ethics have nothing to do with such action.” So all Muslims who live near Mr Rushdie should move away. No Muslim should sit in a plane when Rushdie a Muslim is sitting in that plane. How is Mr Imran getting involved with Mr Rushdie by just attending a conference with him? I guess it is OK for Mr Khan to be seemed to be with involved with terrorists but not OK to be in a crowd where Salman Rushdie is there. You are great, only a Muslim can have such a birlliant mind and think like you.Recommend

  • http://www.causes.com/causes/653962-stand-up-for-your-baloch-brothers/ Abdur Rahman

    @ Anthony

    Now what you are saying is completely lack of knowldege.

    There were protests against the Da Vinci Code in Pakistan by the Muslim religious organizations. Even Mullahs came up on TV talking about how the west is bent upon blaspheming against prophets (specifically commenting on this book).

    But somehow the FILM more than the book got more attention of the Mullahs and the Christians here in Pakistan so the Film IS BANNED in Pakistan, its strange that the book probably was not(?). But that was not because they thought it was okay, but because it got less attention than the film and the issue was settled after the ban of the film.Recommend

  • Deb

    @Cynical

    That’s funny.You really believe that divine intervention will save him from the fall from a flying jet.Looks like beliefs of certain type can lead to insanity.Recommend

  • abhi

    Imran is repeating the mistake of using the religious feeling to achieve his political aim. History of subcontinet is witness to the disaster this kind of philosophy brings. Many people thought that they can ride the tiger but end up being eaten up by the tiger.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @abhi:
    “Imran is repeating the mistake of using the religious feeling to achieve his political aim.” In Pakistan no one can succeed without “Islam” and without being anti-Indian. Here is an interesting remark by a former Afghanistan Ambassador to Pakistan, .Mulla Abdul Salam Zaee According to him “Pakistanis can get milk even from a bull. They have two tongues in one mouth, and two faces on one head so they can speak everybody’s language; they use everybody, deceive everybody. They deceive the Arabs by using the name of Islam, they milk America in war against terrorism and they have been deceiving Pakistanis in the name of Kashmiris, but behind the curtain they have been betraying everyone”.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Pak Tester: Says “Coming to the blasphemous point, there was nothing of any such kind. All are going by the words of Ayatollah Khomeini way back in the 80s, without even reading the book. Don’t you think that fatwa has promoted the book the most and Rushdie must not had earn so much money and fame, which he has, thanks to Ayatollah Khomeini” Pakistanis don’t worry about terrorist attacks but no one can get away with blasphemy
    .Pakistani authorities arrested a doctor on suspicion of violating the country’s contentious blasphemy law by throwing away a business card of a man who shared the name of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    vikram has mentioned the name of the outcaste four times; i have not mentioned once. No sir, one shows ones back to the evil. This is what Merlyn did, The caravan marches on while the dogs keep on barking. We must act the way we believe to be right and let others do what they wish..

    Resistance is not terrorism; but occupation of others land is! States which terrorise people should be the concern of the humans. USA and Israel are the two notable culprits in this class and this should concern peace loving people of the world!

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • http://www.causes.com/causes/653962-stand-up-for-your-baloch-brothers/ Abdur Rahman

    @ Vikram

    you miss the point..its not about not going to the place where Rushdie is there or about leaving a plane where Rushdie would be sitting. This is a way to protest against him- that’s common sense.Recommend

  • Umer

    @Abdur Rahman:

    you miss the point..its not about not
    going to the place where Rushdie is
    there or about leaving a plane where
    Rushdie would be sitting. This is a
    way to protest against him- that’s
    common sense.

    Why not protest against SSP by not going to Difa-e-Pakistan? Imran isn’t consistent and normally this is called hypocrisy. Admit it, Imran is scoring cheap political score by pandering to religious bigots who would burn churches and bibles but would blame Rushdie for blasphemy.Recommend

  • MA

    @Pak Tester:
    read The Moor’s Last Sigh!Recommend

  • http://www.causes.com/causes/653962-stand-up-for-your-baloch-brothers/ Abdur Rahman

    @ Umer

    I answered what u asked now already, if you scroll up and read.

    First of all Difae Pak are a group from within Pakistan (they are not outsiders, like Rushdie) and they are a group of 40 political parties, not each one of them is linked to extremism…the PTI says it went there not to support any militant organization but to support their basic motto…they are even speaking about eradicating sectarian violence…so they are basically saying nice things…its a better option i believe to get all the people in Pakistan to unite and to turn to peace making…

    Coming to blasphemy, did Imran not condemn Mumtaz qadri and support the governor on the blasphemy issue, even though the governor was accused of blaspheming against the prophet?Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    If the author wanted to discuss about the outcaste or the members of the defense commttee, why not write an article on these issues. It is shabby to target Mr Khan, indirctly inviting the readers to comment on undrlying issues. As an outsider guest, having no affiliation with the country, Mr Imran Khan is a courageous sportsman to talk about issues that concern the majority, that others dare not!

    Rex Minoro Recommend

  • Umer

    @Abdur Rahman:

    Your second reply is as much a joke as first one was. I guess when logic and fairness is gone this is what is left. I don’t know how the question of Rushdie being an outsider came into this when Imran meets any outsider otherwise and had even married an outsider. It was always the case of Rushdie hurting the religious sentiments of people which several organisations in Difa-e-Pakistan do on a regular basis not to mention burning alive and persecution of various communities. Also like Difa-e-Pakistan the conclave did not just have Rushdie but several other people so by your argument Imran should have attended when his party is also supporting Difa-e-Pakistan groups.Recommend

  • vaqas

    @Mustafa Moiz:
    Hehe. That was funny. Even if you are seriously trying to hit on a random girl that you have no clue about.
    @ marium nawaz:
    Seriously? You actually said that? Do you really need anybody else to pulverize this country with the lot of politicians and extremists and government officials and the chowkidar who takes bribes just so you can get a paper signed by a corrupt official who will just take more money to actually sign the paper? While we are at amusing ourselves with imaginative evils id like to put the blame on dr. Doom. He is much cooler.
    Fact is rushdie is crap. The militants are crap. All the politians are crap. And we are all in this big pile of crap thats about to go to crap. I hope my excessive use of the word crap gets my point through.
    But to the point of where people thought it is appropriate to fraternize with the extremist leadrs thats just crap. Its harder for us to get a strangle hold on them cause we were looking the other way while they gained strength. How exactly is looking awy further going to help our cause? Specially now that we have engaged them. Now it can only go either their way or the more sane way. The sooner we realize that the better. The militants are not my friends. They will try to kill me for one reason or the other. How you freely write right now commenting on how not bad they are? You are gonna be killed for ths same free speech. So please spare me. Now how you go on about eliminating this threat might be debatable. But lets not ponder over whether they should be eliminated or not.Recommend

  • T Shah

    The problem I have with Imran is his right wing leaning, he is too comfortable with snakes like SamiulHaq and others, I would have hoped as a new leader he would drop all these terrorist loving right wing mullahs, but he seems attracted to them, seeming in some perverted way to gain their acceptance.

    Imran turned from a playboy to a spiritual person in the early 90s, thanks to his love of Nusrat Fateh Alis qawaalis, but that does not mean you have to abandon all that is moderate and modern.

    Imran to me is duplicitous, could he find no Pakistani woman to marry out of 180 million people? Instead of berating the Taliban, he makes excuses for them, there is no excuse for rebels and traitors who kill their own people.

    Imran is wrong, the war on terror is our war, not just Americas war, this poison has affected not nly the US but Pakistan as well, how can he say this is not Pakistans war? These people are hiding in our borders and cities and yet Imran thinks its an American war. This is the worlds war and we are part of the world, to be honest as a Pakistani living in the US, I have more respect for Zardari than Imran.Recommend

  • http://www.causes.com/causes/653962-stand-up-for-your-baloch-brothers/ Abdur Rahman

    @Umer:

    You did not get my point. And pls. leave aside these cheap debate tactics of yours like “your response was a joke”- i am well aware of these:) Now what I meant was that if ‘Diafae Pak’ were an outsider organization Imran wouldn’t have an interest in interacting with them. Not that he has some problem with meeting with outsiders.

    The thing is that he wishes to be the future LEADER of Pakistan, as a leader is it more clever to sit and talk with all kinds of people (IF they are talking about peace) or to proclaim that ‘oh they are people worth murdering??’ This would be akin to spreading chaos and division among people. So for the ‘Difae Pak’ he made the decision as a future leader NOT as just another common person.

    If the future leader of Pakistan has some interaction with all kinds of people (without supporting their extremist agenda) it would be EASIER for him to DISARM the militants among them as he vows to do in future.Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Pak Tester:
    I read the book when it was still very freshly published as I had run into a few comments about the book. It was commended for two things basically montage as in cinematography. The critic opined as Rushdie had spent his boyhood in Bombay.
    Another aspect of his writing technique was the usage of repetition which is very usual in Urdu writing. Josh Malihabad was a master of this technique. Rushdi was praised for introducing a new way of writing. An original idea.

    For me him being “visual” was a very positive development. Most of Urdu writers simply avoid or cannot imbue any visual aspect in their writings.

    Something which made me say “Wow”, was the main thing, was him talking about the travail of the Desi immigrants in England suffering specially due to introduction of Mrs Thatcher’s “reforms.” The Desis whose children who had lost their moorings, Thatcheresque measures only added to there sufferings.

    Rushdi’s, awareness of problems world over, in creative English was impressive with absolutely enjoyable humour.

    When Rajeev Gandhi who was in political wilderness, those days sided with the Bombay Muslims, I was not too sure whether RG was talking of the same book which I had read.

    Benazir attacked NS for not caring about the feelings of Muslims when even India has banned the book. Then only I realised that a potential political bomb was being tossed around. At the same moment Maggie and Khomeini were having a mudwrestling bout on the world arena.

    Khomeini, the self styled revolutionary (whose daddy was from Lucknow but of Kashmiri origin), shouted checkmate, declaring Rushdi as”waajib ul qatl“. The special love relationship between Iran and England, started when the Western oil companies were kicked out by PM Mossadegh in 50s.

    A book that lamented the plight of Desis in the Blighty under Maggie, became a darling of the PM. This I call lateral thinking. Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Mr TShah

    The so called Talibans do not need any advocate, least of all Mr Nobody, to make excuses for them. History is the witness that they do not negotiate.You should also recognise the fact that yours is the land of criminals which has over 500 oversees bases(Ron Paul says 900), has never won a war on its own in its entire history but terrorised several countries of the world. We have seen their performance in Europe, in Vietnam and most recently in muslim countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Their biggest mistakes were to follow the French and enter Vietnam and their second mistake was to take on Talibans in Afghanistan! Afghanistan, the land of beautiful orchards, high mountains and impressive valleys is also known as a cemetry of empires. What we are witnessing is all that is left of the Kennedy and Lincoln land, marines which are urinating on dead bodies and killing children and women in sleep, the most despised and hated people in the world! Just cross over the border in mexico and experience how the gringos are treated by its neighbours. There are no terrorists per say but Resistance, your forefathers were called insurgents and terrorists when they resisted the Brits occupation and this practice of anglo saxons has not ceased todate.Destabilisation and division is caused wherever they move and all what is left of them is heavy credit they cannot pay back and Iphones and a counry which has the third biggest employer inland being the Prison establishment.

    Any to be leader of a country which identifies itself among muslim nations would be a fool hardy to associate himself with a pariah. The one thing Mr Imran Khan is expert on but has never been talked about in the western media is that he was married to the daughter of the most influentioal Billionaire Zionist, and consequenty he is aware of the zionist influence on the western media. He therefore knows more about the so called War on Terror than an average Pakistani. Have a nice day.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Rex Minor:
    “You should also recognise the fact that yours is the land of criminals which has over 500 oversees bases”

    For a detailed break down, please see List of US bases around the world, which could be more reliable.Recommend

  • Sane

    @Abid P. Khan
    More than 100% agree.Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Rex Minor:
    “The one thing Mr Imran Khan is expert on but has never been talked about in the western media is that he was married to the daughter of the most influentioal Billionaire Zionist”

    Being a Zionist does not entail that one belongs to Bani Israel, and vice versa.

    It is wrongful to blame IK for violating his tribal traditions by marrying Aunt Jemima. Both belong to the same tribe called, Bani Israel, probably one is more lost than the other. The couple was Ahle kitaab.

    Pathans claim Jewish ancestry several DNA tests, confirm that.

    DNA Traces in Lucknow
    Shevi Jews
    Dashte Yahudi, Mardan, Peshawar etc
    Taleban too Are Jewish!Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Mr Khan

    No blame was intended for Imran Khan.. The rest of your comments is a diversion and have no basis, just a small talk and loud thinking.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Rex Minor:
    I see, it was a blame not intended for Imran Khan, then for Maulana Diesel perhaps? Pray, tell us, diversion from what? Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Mr Khan

    The fact that Imran was associated with the Zionist father in lawr, he should knows the zionist network in the world as well as their control and influence of the world media1 It matters not whom he chooses to marry?
    The stories of some Pashtuns tribes belonging to certain jewish tribes holds no water. According to modern scholars there might have been some settlements of the jews in 800 B.C and some remnants of the Aryans as well as some greek and Iranian colonies here and there. But from 1st century B.C to 5th century A.D., during a span of 600 years, the Afhanistan area witnessed three immigrations from central Asia of such gigantic magnitude …of the Sakas, Kushans, Huns and Gujars..that everything was swept before them, overwhelmed by them and submerged in them. In short, hardly any previous group whether Aryan, Jewish, Greek or Iranian could retain its identity!

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Deb

    @Rex Minor

    “Resistance is not terrorism; but occupation of others land is!”

    So occupation (successive) of foreign land by Bin Qasims,Ghodis,Mongols,Turks,Arabs and assorted others (not necessarily in that order) was terrorism. Not to mention about the murder,plunder,rape and the kindest of get away clause of ‘convert or die’.
    Is it too late to resist? or to desist? to revert?
    How about a movement to drive them (the invaders’ descendants) out of this ancient land of hindu,buddhist and pagans?
    The possible arguement against it could be that these descendants are local converts, not the invaders.But then, no invasion, no association and no conversion. Recommend

  • http://www.causes.com/causes/653962-stand-up-for-your-baloch-brothers/ Abdur Rahman

    Finally we have Imran Khan personally answering all the questions raised in this article. For his reply specifically on “Sharing the Stage with Difae Pak” watch the video from “14th minute to 20:50″ Its quite strange that Imran said the same thing what people who understand him were already explaining about him. Enjoy the Vid!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=if4sRJ5dKoE

    (Imran Khan replies to Rusdhie-And On Sharing stage with extremists)Recommend

  • sherry

    @The Only Normal Person Here.:
    its good for him to lose such votes, because they are not liberals ,they are liberal extremists.Recommend

  • Nadeem Shah

    @Tahir:
    Sometimes nations have to fight to get results, but our Pakistani army’s habit is fighting half hearted, not because our soldiers lack the necessary jazba, they have lots of it, but either the political or higher military authority does not have the appetite for it, resulting in something of a mess, we saw this in 1971, we saw it in Kargill, we are seeing it again in Waziristan area, when they were forceful, confidant and decisive as in Swat, they clean up the area.

    These so called jihadee crazies do not respect peaceful overtures, they see it as weakness, these pashtuns who support them respect nothing but a gun, the bigger the more respect, Imran is wrong if he thinks he can talk peace into the region, he has not read the history of this land, I am a pashtum myself, and nothing but force will bring these people to the peace talks. Recommend

  • Nadeem Shah

    @Maryam Nawaz:
    those who blame others for their own problems, never escape their problems….when you point at someone, three fingers point back at you.Recommend