In today’s Observer, Imran Khan expresses his deep fears for the future of Pakistan. He says:
“The assassination of Salmaan Taseer has shown only too clearly the growing extremism in Pakistan, the radicalisation of its society and the polarisation that is taking hold. This is not just between the religious and the secular, but also the polarisation that the "war on terror" has caused between the various religious sects.”
The thrust of his article, however, is a powerful appeal for an end to the war in Afghanistan:
“There is no military solution in Afghanistan, only dialogue, so the supreme irony is that in siding with the Americans all we have done is send the levels of violence up in Pakistan. The ‘war on terror’ has weakened the state and then, thanks to the George Bush-sponsored National Reconciliation Ordinance in 2007, which allowed an amnesty for all the biggest political crooks, we now have the most corrupt government in our history. The "war on terror" is destroying Pakistan...There is incredible anti-American sentiment here, and the drone attacks only fuel that hatred. We need a change of strategy, otherwise the worst-case scenario will be achieved here; an unstable nuclear state.”
He is not the only one to have warned, time and time again, of the dangers that the ‘war on terror’ will turn Pakistan into a battlefield. These warnings have to be heeded before it is too late.