Thursday, December 25, 2014

CIA should recruit Pakistan's Imran Khan

Khan is definitely charismatic!
     A few years ago, Islamabad journalist Dr. Hasnat Nabi wrote an article about whether or not terrorists in Pakistan were "friends or foes." Dr. Nabi was amazed by a statement by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, who said that he will make constitutional amendments to prevent military operations against countrymen in any part of Pakistan if his party comes to power. 
     Today, on Christmas day, 2014, I am messaging my three Facebook friends in Pakistan about Khan. They are all in their mid-20's and yearn for Imran Khan to replace Mamnoon Hussain, who was elected President in 2013 by a comfortable majority.      
     As I communicate more with my young Pakistani friends on FB, I feel the U.S. government establish close ties with Khan, mainly because the median age in Pakistan is only 22.6 years.
Kahn has positive political goals for Pakistan
     I'm learning much about Imran Khan and his growing popularity among the young Pakistani people. He founded the PTI, which is the fastest growing mainstream national party in Pakistan. It stands for "Pakistan Movement for Justice" and being a centrist, progressive political party, perhaps the U.S. government and the Intelligence Community (IC) should support it. He was a former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist.
     Although the PTI earned few political successes in the past at the polling booth, on October 2011, over a hundred thousand people gathered in Lahore to support Imran Khan and the PTI. PTI claims to have over 6 million workers in Pakistan, popularly called 'Insafiyans'. According to political analysts, PTI has a significant vote bank in Central, Southern and Western Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Upper Sindh. PTI claims to be Pakistan's only non family party, with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (N) being its direct competitors. According to International Republican Institute (IRI), as of May 2012, PTI is Pakistan's most popular party.
     Imran Khan has opponents who claim he is naive and unaware of the reasons why Pakistan is fighting the terrorists and why Pakistani soldiers are giving their lives in fighting terrorism. They say that it is not the Pakistan military which decided to mount military strikes against the nation's terrorist- it was the nation's people and their parliament which decided to do so. Parliament backed the military in an operation against the radical Islamic extremists in Swat and Malakand. And, after the awful school shootings, the support Khan gets for his conciliatory views may evaporate. Still, despite this criticism against him, Khan believes he will sweep the country in  upcoming elections.

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     A few years ago, he actually declared the foreign terrorists and their local allies as his "countrymen", despite the fact that they never hesitate to conduct terrorism and suicide attacks against the innocent citizens of Pakistan. His “countrymen” are killing school children, beheading the soldiers and uploading the grizzly scenes on YouTube.
     The video "Islam and America: Through the Eyes of Imran Khan" (below) was made shortly after 9/11, but it gives his views of why, at that time, so many Muslims hated the United States and what America did to alienate so many people in the Muslim world. The former Pakistani cricketer turned politician (Imran Khan), seemed open-minded during the discussion:

Imran Khan's views on U.S./Pakistan relations
     True, no one in Pakistan supports the U.S. drone attacks which are killing such terrorists along their western border, simply because innocent citizens are killed. Still, most Pakistani citizens would like to have all terrorists in their country eliminated because they hold the nation as a hostage. My Pakistani Facebook friends would agree.
     Imran's opponents also state that he is a public figure and because of this, he must conduct fact checks before speaking his views, especially when he blasts Pakistan’s resolve to end terrorism. After the upswing in extreme violence by the Taliban, it seems he is siding with the terrorists.
     Despite the negative aspects of this political leader, I hope that the U.S. government and Intelligence Community (IC) has accumulated in-depth files on the politicians throughout Pakistan, including men like Imran Khan. The IC should learn about the Governors throughout Pakistan, such as Akbar Bugti, Rahimuddin Khan, Musa Khan, Miangul Aurangzeb, Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, Zulfikar Ali Magsi, Governor of Balochistan, Pakistan, Owais Ahmed Ghani, etc.
    At the top of the list, should be Imran Khan, for he is a  charismatic and potential future leader of Pakistan. With movie-star looks and being a former captain of a cricket team that won the 1992 World Cup, he would be a great asset. A complicated man, he has had uneasy and stormy relations with colleagues and he remains unpopular with the press in Pakistan.
     In his sports career, he has never been at ease with English players and is outspoken about the way the game is played and run in England. In addition to his cricketer prowess, he has been known as a socialite since his undergraduate days at Oxford...yes, Oxford. Khan has campaigned to save the rain forests, has been constantly misrepresented in his relationships with a  succession of women, has never married, and remains anxious to influence Pakistani politics. He could be a great asset for American intelligence to pursue, one that would benefit the citizens of both countries.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online Spy series, "Corey Pearson, CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Reach him on the Secure Contact Form 

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