ibnlive » World

Mar 07, 2009 at 07:40pm IST

Imran Khan blames foreign hand for Lahore

London: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan says a "foreign hand" may have planned the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers with a view to hurt Pakistan and end cricket in the country.

"It could be India, Afghanistan, the Tamil Tigers," Khan, 56, was quoted as saying by The Times of London on Saturday.

"The motive is to damage the state of Pakistan and end cricket here. The shocking thing is that there was so little security for the players," Khan said in the interview.

FALLING STATE: Pakistani politician Imran Khan appalled by security given to Lankan team.

"This attack was guaranteed front-page news everywhere in the world," said the chief of the Tehreek-e-Insaf party (Movement for Justice).

"The perpetrators wanted to portray Pakistan as a chaotic state in the Dark Ages... Pakistan is a resilient country but we have gone from crisis to crisis."

Khan said Pakistani extremists were being made the scapegoats. He said almost all the terrorism taking place in Pakistan since 2004, when its army was sent into the tribal areas, had been suicide attacks.

"Last year there were over 100 suicide attacks but they have a pattern. They are always in retaliation."

He said the attack on cricketers in Lahore this week by gunmen was different.

"They had an escape route--it was well planned. I certainly don't think this was done by ideological terrorists, motivated to blow themselves up."

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