Washington, Nov. 1: The United States has said that Pakistani politician Imran Khan is “welcome” in the country even though he was briefly held by immigration agents in Canada.
“We are aware that he was detained briefly in Toronto before boarding his flight to the United States,” The Express Tribune quoted acting State Department spokesperson Mark Toner, as saying.
But he disputed allegations that Khan was held and interrogated for hours over his stance on drone attacks and position on the Taliban as he tried to board a New York-bound plane from the Canadian city.
“My understanding is that the issue was quickly resolved and that he traveled into the United States, and certainly he is welcome in the United States,” Toner said.
Khan was headed to New York to attend a fundraiser organised by his party.
“I was taken off from plane and interrogated by U.S. Immigration in Canada on my views on drones. My stance is known. Drone attacks must stop,” Khan had tweeted on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Khan, who maintains that drone strikes are illegal and counterproductive, had led thousands of supporters, including a group of American peace activists, on a march to the edge of Pakistan’s restive tribal districts to protest them, last month.
Toner said he did not know “the specifics” of why Khan was held, but added: “I would just say that we certainly don’t want any legitimate traveler delayed for no reason.”
Khan criticised the government for staying silent on its citizen being mistreated. (ANI)