Describing his country's relations with the US as that of a client and a master, Pakistan's cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan today said there was a need to transform the ties to that of mutual friendship.
"We want to be friends with the US but the current client-master relationship must end," Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tahreek e-Insaf party said here.
"Pushtun nationalists in tribal areas don't consider the current military operations as war against terror, but regards it as war against Islam. The army is considered collaborator or mercenary forces of the US," said Khan after delivering a public lecture organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies, a Singapore think tank.
The 140,000 Pakistani soldiers stuck in tribal areas should be disengaged and the military operation should be stopped to take away the narrative of jehad from this war, he said.
Khan argued that no Pakistani was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack in the US and the unrest in Pakistan only started after Islamabad started supporting US war in Afghanistan.
The same mujahedeen, who were described as freedom fighter during the war against erstwhile Soviet Union, were now branded as terrorists, he pointed out.
Responding to a question from one of the 400 academics and business community leaders at the lecture, Khan said the
of Jehad narrative by stopping the US-supported military action in the tribal area, would neutralise the mujahedeen and bring peace to Pakistan .
Khan said 40 million of the 84 million voters were youngsters under the age of 25 and were seeking change in the government, which gives him the confident of winning the election.