Dawn News

Imran completes US tour despite interrogation

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan.— Photo by AFP

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: Imran Khan reached Los Angeles on Monday to complete a four-city tour to collect funds for his Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf party, three days after he was offloaded and interrogated by US immigration officials in Canada.

Mr Khan has already held three fundraisers in New York, Seattle and San Francisco, collecting more than $600,000 for his election campaign. He expects to raise another $200,000 in Los Angeles on Monday night before flying out to Dubai.

On Friday, Mr Khan boarded an American Airlines plane from Toronto to New York to speak at a fundraising dinner in Long Island but was offloaded and interrogated for an hour.

“I was taken off from plane and interrogated by US immigration in Canada on my views on drones,” he said in a twitter message on Friday afternoon. “My stance is known. Drone attacks must stop.”

Mr Khan attended a fundraiser in Brampton, Canada, on Thursday night, urging Pakistani-Canadians to support his party’s efforts to stabilise Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has said the issue which caused American authorities to offload and interrogate Mr Khan had been solved.

“We are aware that Imran Khan was briefly delayed in Toronto before boarding the next flight to the United States,” a State Department spokesperson told reporters. “The issue was resolved. Mr Khan is welcome in the United States.”

Earlier, US Customs and Border Protection spokesman Joanne Ferreira told reporters there was nothing unusual about Mr Khan’s interrogation.

“Under US immigration laws, applicants for admission bear the burden of proof to establish that they are clearly eligible to enter the United States,” she said.

Although the interrogation caused Mr Khan to miss his flight, he attended his party’s fundraiser in New York.

“Nothing will change my stance. My stand on drones is very clear. I did not say sorry to them,” Mr Khan later told reporters.

Masud Raja, PTI’s finance secretary in North America, said Mr Khan was taken off the plane with Fauzia Kasuri, the president of the party’s women wing.

The Canadian media reported that US immigration officials also questioned him about his views on Jihad and about whether or not he was going to protest in the US against drone strikes.

A vilification campaign preceded Mr Khan’s arrival in North America, mainly by people of Pakistani origin unhappy with his views.

“Will Hillary Clinton do the honourable thing and bar Imran Khan from entering the US and sullying American soil? Will she put an end to the appeasement of Islamists?” Tariq Fateh, a Pakistani Canadian, wrote in the Toronto Sun newspaper, calling Mr Khan a “hate monger” and a Taliban supporter.

The American Islamic Leadership Coalition from Phoenix, Arizona, wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this week, urging her to revoke the US visa granted to Mr Khan.

“Granting individuals like Khan access to the US to fundraise is against the interest of the people of Pakistan and the national security interests of the US,” the group wrote.

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Comments (25) Closed

Oct 30, 2012 04:21am
Hadn't Imran announced before leaving for USA that he was going to protest against drone strikes in front of UN headquarters? What happened to that protest?
Oct 30, 2012 05:06am
When Sharuk Khan was stopped at immigration in USA few months ago the Indian Goverment lodged a protest and state dept was forced to appologize. Would the Goverment of Pakistan also lodge a protest for off loading IK, a leader of a major political part of Pakistan or it is asking to much from a democratically elected goverment of this country?
Oct 31, 2012 06:56am
the Pakistanis in the US are contributing.
Oct 30, 2012 04:54am
Imran made all Pakistanis proud. Those who are opposing him in USA and Canada are paid by the USA government. They do not represent the people of Pakistani Origin.
allan DeSouza
Oct 30, 2012 12:29pm
Imram Khan many a times said that Pakistan does not need aid from USA but yet he came to the USA for aid for his party. What a hypocrit!!!!!!
Oct 30, 2012 12:42pm
Why the anyone needs American dollars. And more so it is the Pakistanis who are giving from there hard earned money
Asif Kashmiri
Oct 30, 2012 07:57am
well done Imran Khan , Pakistan is with u.
Oct 30, 2012 03:59pm
He is not asking US govt for funds. It is the Pakistanis who give him Dollars. You need to get the facts....
Oct 31, 2012 03:07am
have'nt seen anything of aid in this article except from that comment of D' Samosa guy
Oct 30, 2012 10:12am
Why does he need American Dollars to further his political career? If he pretends to be so patriotic then he should seeks funds within Pakistan. He is no different from all the other hollow politicians. Live on American proceeds and carry on criticising them.
Agha Ata (USA)
Oct 30, 2012 12:31pm
Are the geological rocks still moving under the surface crust to cause a political tsunami?
Syed Mustafa
Oct 30, 2012 12:10pm
They are not paid by the USA; they lack intellect
Oct 30, 2012 12:02pm
Bravo Imran Khan.
Oct 30, 2012 12:45pm
Well! If ia a Pakistani then my thinking should be Pakistani. And you got it right. Typical Pakistani thinking is that anything thing wrong is American fault. Hence drones are producing a negative image
Oct 30, 2012 09:16am
Naveed, your comments are typical Pakistani style, "If any thing wrong happens in Pakistan, it is America's fault." You need to mend your thinking. I like Imran Khan. I think he is the last hope of Pakistan. But Imran Khan is not right on everything. For example, I disagree with his views regarding drones. Drones is the only tool being used effectively against Taliban. Pakistani government and people are not doing anything about this problem. Taliban are the biggest threat to Pakistan now, and must be eradicated for ever.
Oct 31, 2012 05:54am
why are they doing this with pakistani people when shahrukh was detained they apologized to india....maybe something is wrong in pakistan only...why world hates us ? ? because of few people world thinks pakistan is terrorist country .... time to wake up pakistani people report police if u see something wrong.
Oct 30, 2012 08:09pm
just to clear the record, US never apologized for the SK episode. instead it has happened for the 3rd time. IK has no national status for now. he is just a normal citizen of Pakistan coming for fund raising ceremony.
majaraja gulzar
Oct 30, 2012 09:09pm
Imran Khan is a practising HYPOCRITE going back to 1992 . He collects US dollars for his Shaukat Hospital /and now for his political; party PTI --yets attacks /condemns America 9a hypocrite) and should be watched /monitored --as he is soft on the terrorists ?TTP /al qaeda etc and takes marches out --to STOP DRONES killing terrorists --is confused ?.
Oct 30, 2012 06:34pm
He need funds for election champagne just like republican and democratic parties asking for funds in the US for their political meetings etc. Have you seen PPP/PML or any other party asking for funds for election champagne in Pakistan? Do you know why? Because they have been robbing the poor people of Pakistan for the last 60 years, it
Oct 30, 2012 06:22pm
You are mixing two seprate issues here. He came to raise funds from his PTI supporters who are Pakistanis. He he not here for aid.
Oct 30, 2012 02:21pm
It is true that he said several occasions that he does not need US aid then why he was here? Second thing is the man who can not unite the 11 players of the cricket team . How you can expect he will unite the country. During his cricket carrer he was biased all the time in choosing the 11 playing members.
Roney Indian
Oct 30, 2012 02:53pm
are they not getting enough AID from US that they have to go around to get more ??
Oct 31, 2012 12:46am
@mohammad i agree with naveed to some extent there is a lobe going on against ik which is trying to paint a complete wrong picture about ik and his party whereas if you see in u.k or in rest of europe ik got a very strong following.
M. Afzal (USA)
Oct 30, 2012 04:45pm
Well said Javed Khan saheb. I am a Pakistani-American and do not support all policies of the American Government. Pakistani Government must be fair enough to defend and speak out for someone who has made Pakistan's name in the world. Imran has always come for help from Pakistanis in America and there is nothing wrong with that. People who love him give him support from their heart.
Oct 31, 2012 01:38pm
You are confused soul,