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Imran Khan Nixes India Trip Over Salman Rushdie

Pakistani opposition leader and former cricketer Imran Khan
Pakistani cricket hero and politician Imran Khan has canceled a planned trip to India after it was announced that British author Salman Rushdie would speak at the same conference.

The leader of Pakistan's Tehrrek-e-Insaaf party was scheduled to attend the high-profile India Today Conclave in New Delhi as a keynote speaker.

A statement from his party, however, said Khan "could not even think" about sharing a stage with Rushdie.

Death threats forced Rushdie to withdraw from the Jaipur Literary Festival in India in January.

The Mumbai-born author's 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses" is banned in India and Pakistan for allegedly blaspheming Muslims.

In 1989, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa death sentence against Rushdie over the book.

The Iranian government later lifted the fatwa.

With AFP and Pakistan Today reporting