Prime Minister Imran Khan during an interview with foreign media, made it clear that he would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun – given money to fight someone else’s war. He also dismissed involvement in Twitter war with US.
“It was not really a Twitter war, it was just setting the record right. The exchange was about being blamed for deeply flawed US policies — the military approach to Afghanistan.” Responding to a question regarding his vision for Pakistan’s relationship with the US, PM Imran said, “I would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun — given money to fight someone else’s war. We should never put ourselves in this position again. It not only cost us human lives, devastation of our tribal areas, but it also cost us our dignity. We would like a proper relationship with the US.” He elaborated, “For instance, our relationship with China is not one-dimensional. It’s a trade relationship between two countries. We want a similar relationship with the US.”
When asked that some people think he’s trying to hedge his bets using China, PM Imran said, “The US has basically pushed Pakistan away.” “Pakistan’s relationship with the US should warm up”, the premier responded, “Who would not want to be friends with a superpower?”
Referring to US president Donald Trump’s statement that Pakistan is safe heaven for terrorists he said “No, he was saying Pakistan was the reason for these sanctuaries [for Taliban leaders]. There are no sanctuaries in Pakistan.” PM Imran continued, “When I came into power, I got a complete briefing from the security forces. They said that we have time and time again asked the Americans, ‘Can you tell us where the sanctuaries are, and we will go after them?’ There are no sanctuaries in Pakistan.” “Our border between Pakistan and Afghanistan has the greatest amount of surveillance. The US has satellites and drones. These people crossing would be seen,” he added.
Regarding Trump’s letter to him earlier this week seeking help in the Afghan peace process, PM Imran said, “Peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest. We will do everything.” “We will try our best. Putting pressure on the Taliban is easier said than done. Bear in mind that about 40 percent of Afghanistan is now out of the government’s hands.”
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17 November, 2019