Imran Khan accuses Bhutto of corruption

Sept. 6, 1996
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ISLAMABAD, Sept. 6 -- Pakistan's cricket legend-turned- politician Imran Khan has leveled new charges of corruption against Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband, reports said Friday. The 42-year-old sports hero said he had details of property that Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, owned in London and of purchases Zardari had made on an American Express credit card, The Jang newspaper reported. Khan, who lead the Pakistani team to victory in the 1992 World Cup, has entered politics with a vow to eradicate corruption. He has founded the Justice Movement, his own political party. Addressing a rally at a small town about 62 miles (100 km) from Islamabad, Khan called Bhutto's husband 'the corruption king of Pakistan,' then dared Zardari to challenge his allegations in court. 'Bhutto and her husband will never go to court because if they do, their corruption will be further exposed,' Khan told the crowd, which responded by shouting 'We want Prime Minister Imran Khan.' In a speech peppered with cricket terms, Khan accused Zardari of living an extravagant life with ill-gotten money. He said Zardari had charged $250,000 worth of purchases on two American Express cards over the last three months, the report said. Khan also said in September 1995, Zardari bought a block of apartments in London's posh Knightsbridge area for 3.5 million British pounds. The Bhuttos have already been accused of buying a mansion in England's Surrey county. Pakistan's cricket hero is the latest voice in a chorus of criticism against Bhutto and her husband for their alleged corruption.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was the first to level corruption charges in Parliament and also urged Bhutto to resign. During the rally, Khan waved an olive branch to Sharif, urging him to continue the campaign against Bhutto in Parliament while Khan stirs up anti-Bhutto sentiment among the masses. Khan has emerged as a tireless campaigner and social reformer since raising about $25 million in small donations for his cancer hospital.

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