New Delhi: Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan was offloaded from a US-bound flight at Toronto International airport in Canada on Friday just hours after he criticised the US for drone attacks in Pakistan's restive Waziristan region.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief was reportedly questioned for his fundraising activities and his alleged links to the Taliban. Imran later tweeted about his interrogation and stood by his critical stand on US drones. He said, "I was taken off from plane and interrogated by US Immigration in Canada on my views on drones. My stance is known. Drone attacks must stop."
Imran's media advisor Shafqat Mehmood clarified, "US authorities questioned him about his stance on the drones. Mr Khan said he will continue to believe that drone attacks are violation Pakistan's sovereignty Entire questioning was based on his stance on drone attacks and nothing else the conjuncture is that in the speech and interview to CBS his stand against the drone attack resulted to his offloading."
Imran was headed to New York to attend a fundraiser organised by his party's US chapter in Long Island. Earlier, he had intended to hold a demonstration outside
the United Nations headquarters in protest of the US drone strikes on his country's soil.
Meanwhile, president of Imran's party in New York Muzammil Anwar said that the rally was cancelled as it coincided with the festival of Eid and several supporters of Imran had cited their inability to participate in the demonstrations due to the Eid celebrations on October 26.
Anwar said Imran along with other party activists were taken off an American Airlines plane and questioned by US officials at Toronto's International Airport.
With Additional Inputs from PTI
I was taken off from plane and interrogated by US Immigration in Canada on my views on drones. My stance is known. Drone attacks must stop— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 26, 2012
Missed flight and sad to miss the Fundraising lunch in NY but nothing will change my stance. Still looking forward to meet PTI family there.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 26, 2012