ISLAMABAD, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- A Pakistani political party Saturday condemned questioning of its chief by American authorities and offloading him from a U.S.-bound flight at a Toronto airport.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice PTI) said that its Chairman Imran Khan, who had been on a fundraising campaign, was cast off a U.S.-bound flight at Toronto's Pearson airport on Friday and questioned by American authorities.
Khan organized a march of thousands of his supporters against the U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions earlier this month.
The cricketer-turned-politician confirmed the incident in remarks posted on social media as the incident evoked strong condemnation in Pakistan and abroad.
"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 said in a tweet from his official twitter account.
Khan planned to proceed to New York to attend a fundraising gathering after collecting money in Canada for the upcoming elections in Pakistan, his party said.
PTI said that Khan was questioned for half an hour by the U.S. immigration authorities.
"PTI strongly condemns the offloading of Imran Khan at Toronto airport and questioning on principled stand against drones," the party spokesman Shafqat Mehmood said. He demanded U.S. apology in a statement, saying the U.S. should respect the right of freedom of expression of others.
Pakistani media said the U.S. State Department spokesperson Laura Lucas has confirmed the incident.
"We are aware that Imran Khan was briefly delayed in Toronto before boarding the next flight to the United States. The issue was resolved. Mr Khan is welcome in the United States." Express News quoted the State Department as saying.
Khan said that the U.S. officials also called him a 'supporter of Taliban' but he responded that he was not against the U.S., but opposes some of its policies.
In another tweet the PTI chief said that he had missed his flight and will also miss a planned fundraising event in New York.