Legendary Pakistani test cricketer and now politician Imran Khan wants his country to reject financial aid from the United States and distance itself from Washington, in the wake of the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
In an interview with the Australian newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald, Khan said Pakistan is in a deep crisis and too dependent on foreign aid.
The biggest lesson to learn [from the raid] is that Pakistan should stand on its own feet, say no to aid and be a sovereign country, he said.
Our government policies have been dictated by aid, they have enslaved us by aid.
According to reports, Pakistan has received an estimated $20-billion in aid from Washington over the past decade, much of it ostensibly to fight against terrorism.
The discovery of bin Laden in a Pakistani military compound is grave embarrassment for the country, he said.
The worst is that we have completely lost our credibility and we are so vulnerable, he said.
As we have been accused of harboring the world's biggest terrorist that means any act of terrorism that takes place anywhere, all fingers will be pointing at Pakistan … the country stands terribly exposed. We could end up paying an even higher price than we have already paid.
As such, Khan also criticized the current Islamabad government.
Imagine the feeling here, that despite all the sacrifices given by the people of this country, we are more vulnerable than ever before and we stand humiliated, he said. People want answers for this, but unfortunately we have the most corrupt and incompetent government.
The former cricket star has demanded the resignations of President, Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani.
No one believes [Zardari and Gilani] in Pakistan, no one believes them abroad,'' he said.
''So what are they doing there? They have failed on all fronts.
Khan accuses Zardari of being a puppet of the U.S.
If the government had roots in its own people and was not perceived as an American puppet then you could control terrorism in Pakistan, he said.
Khan also condemned the U.S. drone strikes, which are supposed to target suspected terrorists hiding out on the lawless Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas, but have killed many innocent civilians.
Khan, now 58, has repeatedly attacked Pakistan’s political establishment and elite. In 2008, his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) party boycotted the national election (as such, it holds no seats in parliament). Despite this, he has a high-profile and his words are heavily covered by media.
Next week, Khan and members of his party will protest the drone strikes by conducting a huge blockade of NATO's military supply route that traverses through Pakistan into neighboring Afghanistan.
These drone attacks are not just a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty; they are a violation of all humanitarian laws,