Musharraf must go, elections irrelevant: Imran Khan


Mumbai : Pakistan’s cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan Friday demanded the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf in the wake of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and said elections were now “irrelevant”.

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Addressing the media in Mumbai where he is on a brief visit, the cricketer-politician said that given the present tragic circumstances in his country, there was need for a change in the current political dispensation in Pakistan.

“Pakistan needs a change, the judiciary must be restored and President Musharraf must step down,” he said as Bhutto was laid to rest in her family mausoleum in Larkana a day after being killed in Rawalpindi.

Responding to a query, Khan said his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf would boycott the ensuing Jan 8 general elections in the country.

“Elections are now irrelevant, the situation in Pakistan is out of control. We need a government with character,” he observed.

Praising the slain Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, Khan said Bhutto was a courageous woman. He demanded an inquiry by an international commission into the security lapses that led to her killing.

Chiding the US for its continuing support to Musharraf, Khan said that in a country where top leaders and former prime ministers were unsafe, US President George W. Bush must realise that Musharraf’s time has run out.

Urging India to help the process of democratisation in Pakistan, he cautioned it against repeating the mistakes committed by President Bush.

On his own plans to return home, Khan said he would return to Pakistan “very soon”. When asked whether he apprehended danger to his life, he asserted: “I have no risk to my life and I don’t need any security.”

Khan is being hosted by well-known socialite Parmeshwar Godrej and is staying at the Godrej guesthouse in south Mumbai’s posh Malabar Hill.