Khan Begins Hunger Strike to Seek Return of Judiciary
Waraich, Omar, The Independent (London, England)
Imran Khan, Pakistan's cricketing idol-turned-politician, declared yesterday that he was beginning a hunger strike in protest at the state of emergency imposed in his country and the regime's seizure of the judiciary.
Hours after a panel of judges imposed by General Pervez Musharraf announced that a legal challenge to his election as the country's leader had failed, Mr Khan let it be known he was giving up food until an independent judiciary was restored. "He was in high spirits," his spokesman, Saifullah Niazi, said after visiting him. "He has decided to go on hunger strike, because he's in jail and there's nothing else he can do to protest. The only thing he has control over is his body."
Mr Khan's former wife, Jemima Khan, expressed concern about the impact such an action would have on his health. "He plans to keep it up until the judiciary is restored," she said.
Mr Khan, the head of the Pakistan Movement for Justice, is more than aware of the power of the media. Last week when he decided to emerge from hiding, having gone on the run in the aftermath of the emergency, he tipped off news organisations that he would be delivering a speech at a university in Lahore. The event turned to near farce when Mr Khan was instead seized by religious students and handed over to police before he could say a word.
Even from inside the jail - initially he was held in a cell with common criminals - Mr Khan knows well the importance of grabbing the headlines as his country …
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Publication information: Article title: Khan Begins Hunger Strike to Seek Return of Judiciary. Contributors: Waraich, Omar - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: November 2, 2007. Page number: 20. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.