Imran Khan, the cricket star-turned-politician who is gaining support in Pakistan, has rebutted charges that he is anti-West and has said his vision for an Islamic society looked like Scandinavia.
Mr. Khan, who has drawn hundreds of thousands of followers in recent months after years in the political wilderness, reiterated his staunch criticism of the U.S. campaign against Islamist extremists on Friday when he addressed a forum in Washington.
But he rejected perceptions that his views are anti-West. Mr. Khan, an Oxford graduate who was formerly married to writer Jemima Khan, said he was one of the few Pakistani politicians to have spent substantial time in the West.
“To be anti-Western makes absolutely no sense at all. The West is geography. How can you be anti-geography?” Mr. Khan told the Atlantic Council, a think-tank, via videoconferencing.
“And to be anti-American... how can you be anti a whole country, where there are so many different views?” he said. “I have always been anti-the American war on terror. I have always thought that this was an insane war,” Mr. Khan said.
A decade after Pakistan reluctantly supported the U.S.-led campaign against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Mr. Khan said that his country was far more radicalised and that billions of dollars had been wasted.