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Pakistan's Imran slams UN 'apathy' to Chechnya

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -- Pakistan's former cricket captain-turned-politician Imran Khan led a demonstration in Islamabad on Thursday, protesting at what he called U.N. apathy to Chechnya's plight in the face of Russia's military assault.

"Death to Russia," chanted scores of protesters from Imran's Tehrik-i-Insaaf party as he delivered to the United Nations office a letter addressed to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.Accompanying Imran were his British-born wife Jemima and their two sons.

Jemima, daughter of late Anglo-French financier Sir James Goldsmith, stood with Imnran holding a child in one hand and a placard in another.

"The Pakistani nation condemns the complete apathy and indifference towards the plight of the innocent Chechens who are being systematically annihilated by the Russians," Imran's letter to Annan said.

Imran told reporters the United Nations had applied sanctions on Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement for refusing to surrender Saudi-born terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden, but did nothing to stop Russian "atrocities" in Chechnya.

"When it came to Afghanistan we see that they have applied sanctions there. Because of one man (bin Laden), the whole population will be destroyed and impovished," he said.

"And on the other hand, when we see the Russians blatantly butchering the Chechen people, there is absolutely nothing the United Nations is doing."

He said Moslems' suffering in Afghanistan and Chechnya was causing an outrage among other Moslems. "This unfairness and this blatant injustice being perpetuated is going to increase extremism...," he said.