BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 21 June, 2002, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Khan 'optimistic' about Pakistan elections
Imran Khan was interviewed in Islamabad
Former international cricketer, Imran Khan, has said that he hopes October's elections will bring about huge changes in Pakistan.

Mr Khan, who is standing for election as leader of the Movement for Justice Party, told the BBC: "I believe that these elections are going to bring about a tremendous change because of voter education, and they will vote for a change."


People do not trust the politicians

Imran Khan
"What we have seen in Pakistan in 11 years is that four governments have been dismissed for corruption, the same people have come back and we felt that what the country needed was a change, a clean alternative."

Provincial and federal elections will be held in October this year three years after the President of Pakistan, General Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup.

Clean politics

In response to the corruption that has tarnished internal politics in Pakistan, Mr Khan formed the Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (Pakistan Movement for Justice Party) to campaign on an anti-corruption platform.

The President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf
Musharraf has promised elections in October

He believes that this commitment to "clean politics" is what sets him apart from other politicians.

In an interview for the BBC's HARDtalk programme, he said: "One factor they don't have and I have is credibility.

"The fact that every year that I collect millions of rupees from Pakistani people for a charitable project makes me the only politician who can do it, who people trust.

"That's what is lacking in Pakistani politics people do not trust the politicians."

Mr Khan denied that voter apathy would see a low turnout. He is convinced that the long campaign, between now and October, will provide the ideal opportunity to persuade voters to turn out at the polls in support of him and his party.


There is no way my party will join any party led by a crook

Imran Khan

"If you want more of a turnout you have to have new faces. People are sick of the same people, they have seen them time and time again. Basically politics has been confined to families and the same families have ruled Pakistan."

He added: "I'm very optimistic that come October, the voter will be really aware of all the issues and what each party stands for."

Partners

If the Tehreek-e-Insaf Party did not get a majority vote, Mr Khan said that they would consider forming a coalition, but would choose any partner very carefully.

"We will look at coalitions but there is no way my party will join any party led by a crook because that would mean compromising the whole status quo and not being able to change the system."

Mr Khan also spoke about the anger in the Muslim world caused by the US campaign against Afghanistan.

He said: "The government actually is very close to the US right now. The problem is that the US policy, the foreign policy is causing resentment not only in Pakistan, but in most of the Muslim world."

"Unless that foreign policy is changed I always feel that the citizens of the United States will become targets. They haven't done anything to alleviate this hatred. The hatred is increasing."

See also:

04 May 02 | South Asia
02 May 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes