| GEO Pakistan|
| Pakistan facing 'disaster,' says Imran Khan|
| Updated at: 0154 PST, Friday, October 24, 2008|
LONDON: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan warned Thursday that Pakistan is heading for "disaster" and lacks any plan to get through its current economic crisis.
Khan, chair of the Pakistan Movement for Justice, added there was "no victory" in sight for US-led forces fighting in Afghanistan and threw his weight behind Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the US presidential election.
"I go as far as to say that where Pakistan stands today, we cannot go on as we have been going on," Khan told the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think-tank in London.
"Unless we change, we are heading towards a disaster. The only way we can change is if we have an independent judiciary checking the abuse of power."
He added: "We have muddled through and always somehow we felt that Pakistan was going to get out of the crises it faced. This time the reason it's different is that never have we had such an economic crisis."
Khan said there was "no strategy" for tackling the problems, adding: "No-one knows how we are going to get out of this."
Pakistan has held discussions with the International Monetary Fund and needs up to 4.5 billion dollars (3.5 billion euros) in the next month to deal with a balance of payments crisis.
Khan warned the United States, which has faced controversy over its aerial attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas in pursuit of suspected militants linked to insurgency in Afghanistan, was failing to win hearts and minds in his country.
He said the way the United States was trying to tackle extremism was like fighting "fire with gasoline" and that the aerial attacks were "the worst way to deal" with the issue.
"Unless there's a change of strategy, in my opinion there's no victory in sight for the US," he said, calling for dialogue with militants.
"Certainly the biggest casualty out of this is going to be Pakistan... (We are) heading the way Cambodia did during the Vietnam war where Cambodia was accused of sending in insurgents and Cambodia was bombed, destablised and you had the killing fields there."
Backing the Democrat Obama-Biden ticket, he expressed strong admiration for the vice-presidential candidate and described the pairing as "much more suitable" than Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin.
Khan also predicted more suicide bombings in Pakistan following a devastating attack at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad last month which killed at least 60 people.