Imran refuses to sit next to Rushdie


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has cancelled his participation as a keynote speaker in the India Today Conclave being held in New Delhi.
The cricketer-turned politician took the decision soon after he came to know that Salman Rushdie was also participating in the event, said a PTI statement issued on Wednesday.
Khan, it said, expressed his regrets to the organisers.
“He could not even think of participating in any program that included Salman Rushdie who has caused immeasurable hurt to Muslims across the globe,” the statement quoted the PTI chief as saying.
Khan only received and saw the full programme of the Conclave last evening and took action early this morning to cancel his participation, the statement said.
Rushdie is believed to have hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslims across the globe by the publication of his book “Satanic Verses”.
The organiser of the India Today Conclave said he “deeply regrets that Imran Khan will not address the India Today Conclave because of Salman Rushdie’s participation. The India Today Conclave is a platform for free and frank exchange of ideas. We do not endorse the views of any of our speakers but we do stand for the freedom of expression in all that we do; it’s an essential principle of a free nation and free media”.
He said the conclave, “now in its 11th year has established itself as an independent and credible forum for thinkers and leaders from around the world not all agreeable to everyone. We wish that Imran had used this opportunity to express his views at the Conclave with all the force and lucidity that he possesses. We can all agree to disagree but we must present our argument”.
Kashmir issue must be recognised as political issue: Meanwhile, talking to Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal, Khan said that Kashmir must be recognised as a political issue to be resolved at the dialogue table.
“What is needed is two strong leaders who can carry their people with them. We need a bold leadership to explain to people the gains from developing the full potential of the subcontinent. We have to sell the idea of dividends of peace and to get out of the past.” Khan referred him to Dr Mazari’s bold idea of civil nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and India which was further explained by her.
Kasuri reaffirmed his support for Khan’s vision and referred to the need for a “peace with honour” on Kashmir.
The high commissioner talked of how Mumbai was a major setback for relations between the two countries. But he said commercial relations were on track and on Jammu and Kashmir, he referred to the movement on travel and trade across the LoC. Presently, according to Sabharwal, trade across the LoC was now four days a week. He said the Indians were also looking at making an easier visa regime.
Khan pointed out that the problem in moving forward in relations was the weak and corrupt government in Pakistan “which cannot carry the people with it”.
He felt Pakistan was poised to take off but the country needed to get out of the debilitating war on terror. He cited the EU example as a means of improving the lot of the people.


  1. I guess he is just another Mullah in disguise….
    A person who is not ready to listen to the other person or his arguments, cannot be a good leader….

    • what freedom!!! go in the streets with your clothes off and say freedom to show…. what else you wanna talk since so much after 1988….

  2. good decision.
    They talk about freedom of speech so the same way we have our freedom to ignore whoever we want to. so live your way and let us live our way.

  3. Bismillah ur Rehman ur Rahim ! Imran Khan Zindabad…Salman Rushdie murdabad…India and Hindus go to hell…

    • we have hindus in Pakistan. please respect them and other minorities in our country. islam teaches us to do just that.

  4. This hypocrite guy is just trying to impress his vote bank,imran's mentors are hamid gul,qazi hussain and taliban,Salman Rushdie is no body,but now once again he will be a popular guy cause of imran's stupid decision,imran khan is a hypocrite,he forgets when he was a playboy and invited female journalists to his hotel room , wearing just underwear,then there was no Islam,he married a rich Jewish girl for money but that was ok,how can this guy run a country who could not run his married life.

    • Look while i accept your right to freedom of speech there ought to be a element of decency about it. It is not imran who has made Mr Rushdie popular but our collective reactions to THE book. Since this book is banned in Pakistan i persume you have not read it. I have read it and i feel hurt and humiliated by it but my faith is stronger than this book.As far Imran,s private life is concerned he is atleast open about it to you though he seems to have opened up to you a lot.Thank god he kept his crown jewels covered. Decent people respect others decency. Let us not fall into gutter polotics. I am sure you are a decent man who does not like imran. I respect you for it.

  5. to amjad and hamza would you both sit with a person who dis respects your father publically, the obvious answer would be NO and would you call it freedom of speech, i think you need to be logically before making emotional statements

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