Page 3 Profile: Imran Khan, cricketer and politician


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The Independent Online

Now there was a bowler!

You're going back a bit. Back in the 1980s, when he was captain of Pakistan, Imran Khan was a fixture on the London party scene. After retiring from cricket in 1992, however, he concentrated on social work, and now heads the Pakistan Movement for Justice party. He has recently campaigned against US drones, which many blame for civilian deaths in the country. Despite this, the Taliban has threatened to kill him if he attends a planned rally in Pakistan's tribal areas next month .

Suicide bombers?

Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan told the AP: "If he comes, our suicide bombers will target him," adding that other activists attending in support of the "liberal" Khan would be classed as "infidels" and bombed as well. The Taliban later claimed they had been misquoted.

And Khan's response?

The rally will go ahead as planned. "A man of faith doesn't fear death," Khan said. "It would be an honour to give the ultimate sacrifice of one's life to protest American lack of care for the innocent men, women and children of Waziristan who have died in thousands by American drone attacks." Under Barack Obama, the use of drones has increased. Since 2007, they are believed to have killed up to 852 civilians. The US President insists the missiles are targeted at people who are "trying to go in and harm Americans".