Lahore: Crickter-turned-politician Imran Khan on Wednesday expressed happiness at reports that the Pakistan government was holding talks with the Taliban, saying the time had come for the country to pull out of the US-led war on terrorism.
"I was very happy to hear that now talks are being held with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. This is what I was saying for seven years and they realised it now after 40,000 people have been killed," he told a news conference here.
Pakistan must pull out of the war on terrorism and change its strategy and tell the US that the campaign was not beneficial for both countries, he said in response to a question about the steps taken by Pakistan after a cross-border NATO attack killed 24 soldiers last month.
"It is time for negotiations...There is no terrorism now because we are talking to them, because there is dialogue between the Army and the Taliban. As soon as we carry out operations, terrorism will resume," he said.
He said the government's decision to NATO supply routes in retaliation for the air strike was like treating "cancer with Disprin".
He added: "The real cancer is we are stuck in somebody else’s war. We are headed towards destruction, and we must get out of this war."
"This war cannot be won with the military. Get out of the war and true friendship with the US means helping them get out of Afghanistan and finding a political settlement," said Khan, the head of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party.
In a separate development, the government of Sindh province on Wednesday reversed its earlier decision barring Khan from holding a rally in Karachi on December 25.
The provincial government had earlier asked Khan to call off the rally due to security concerns.
The minority Christian community too had asked Khan to defer his rally as it would coincide with Christmas.
Khan told the news conference that he had decided to hold the rally at Jinnah's mausoleum in Karachi on December 25 to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of Pakistan.
"We are going to Karachi in the service of Pakistan, do not stop us. To stop us will cause a lot of harm, this is a flood of the people," he said.