Imran Khan sees ‘foreign element’ in cricket attack

SLAMABAD, March 7, 2009 (AFP) – Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan believes a “foreign element” could be involved in this week’s attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, according to an interview published Saturday.

“It could be India, Afghanistan, the Tamil Tigers,” Khan was quoted as saying in an interview published online by The Times of London.

“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.

Khan said that he now feared that Pakistan would be treated as a pariah by the rest of the world and that it was already being described as a “failed state” and a breeding ground for terrorists.

“This attack was guaranteed front-page news everywhere in the world,” Khan said.

“The perpetrators wanted to portray Pakistan as a chaotic state in the Dark Ages. Yesterday, the stock market took a nosedive. Pakistan is a resilient country but we have gone from crisis to crisis.”

Khan’s belief that foreigners may be involved in the cricket attack echoes Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik, who told reporters Friday that, “I cannot rule out (involvement of a) foreign hand in the incident.”

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