Thursday 9 August 2012

TTP backs off Imran Khan death threat

Imran Khan doing what he does best
First they said they would kill him, but now they are not so sure. An AP report published yesterday carried a claim from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan that the organisation's suicide bombers would kill cricketer-turned-politican Imran Khan if he attempted to lead an anti-drone march into South Waziristan in September.
"If he comes, our suicide bombers will target him," Ahsan told the AP. "We will kill him". Speaking from a remote compound in Shawal in South Waziristan, Ahsan said that they regard Khan as a 'liberal' and an infidel and that they didn't want his help in opposing drone attacks.
By today, however, Ahsan had changed his tune: “The TTP shura will decide what to do a week before his arrival and will announce it,” Ahsan said, adding that “it’s sure and clear that we don’t have any sympathy with Imran Khan, neither do we need his sympathy, as he himself claims to be a liberal, and we see liberals as infidels.”
Clearly the TTP spokesman had spoken out of turn. To cover his embarrassment he blamed the journalist who had conducted the interview: “The reporter added the death threat himself, bypassing the norms of journalism; he tried to break a news story for his publicity and it shows his immorality,” he said. More likely is that even the TTP knows that killing Imran Khan would bring a whirlwind down on their heads. Pashtuns, more than anything else, love their cricketers.

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