The United States’ immigration detained and interrogated the Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician at a Canadian airport., popular for his stance against US drone strikes in Pakistan, was reportedly taken off a New York-bound plane and questioned about his anti-drone views and takes on jihad.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader, who recently led an anti-drone rally to the border of Pakistan's tribal area, had been in Canada to deliver a speech and was scheduled to attend a fundraising event in the US on Friday.
Reports suggest that the US immigration officials at the Toronto airport detained and questioned him for around an hour. Khan missed his flight, but finally took another flight to New York and later Seattle.
"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," Khan tweeted yesterday after his questioning, according to the Guardian. "Missed flight and sad to miss the fundraising lunch in NY but nothing will change my stance."
Khan said he supposes US immigration authorities detained him for some time to put off an anti-drone demonstration he was scheduled to lead in the US, devoid of the understanding that the protest had already been rescheduled in the wake of the Muslim holiday of Eid.
Meanwhile, a State Department official has acknowledged that the Pakistani politician was stopped for a short time before flying to the US via another flight. The official further said that the issue was resolved and Khan is welcome in the US.
Mr. Khan has been calling the US drone strikes in Pakistan an infringement of Pakistan's autonomy and an approach that adds fuel to terrorists’ rage toward the US. Recent studies have also suggested that a majority of US drone victims were innocent civilians.
According to some commentators, Khan was detained and questioned because some groups in the US, including the American Islamic Leadership Coalition, have been protesting against his visit to the United States. They reportedly wrote a letter to, requesting her to cancel the US visa given to the Pakistani politician.