Pakistan Update : Pak expects even-handed treatment from US with respect to India

By Hamza Ameer

Islamabad, Nov 2 : Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he expects the US to maintain even-handed treatment with Pakistan in comparison to India.

Khan said Washington’s thinking that India will be able to contain China is a flawed approach and thinking.

“That’s why we expect the US, as the strongest country in the world, to be even-handed, whoever becomes the president. The US thinks India will contain China, which is a completely flawed premise,” he said.

“India is a threat to its neighbours, to China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and to us,” he added.

Khan made these remarks while speaking to German weekly news magazine Der Spiegal.

Talking about Pakistan’s role in bringing Taliban to the dialogue table, Khan said that Islamabad’s leverage is that it houses over 2.7 million Afghans, who reside as refugees.

Khan said Pakistan’s only concern is the leverage India would get in Afghanistan and use it to target and destabilise Pakistan from Afghan soil.

“We have no favourites in Afghanistan. Our only interest is that the future government in Kabul does not allow India to operate from there against Pakistan,” he said.

Referring to the recognition of Israel by various Middle Eastern countries, Khan said Pakistan’s view of the situation is the same as that of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

“The founder of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a brilliant man, spoke in the 1940s about the Palestinian situation as a huge violation of human rights. Pakistan still maintains this view. Unless there is a just settlement, we cannot recognise Israel,” he said.

Reiterating Pakistan’s extended support for China, Khan said he admires China because of its achievements in the past four decades.

“I admire China because it has taken 700 million people out of poverty within a short period of 40 years. This is the model I want to emulate in Pakistan,” he said.

“Despite not having electoral politics, they are good at bringing the best people to the top in their country. It’s a system based on meritocracy. In the past seven years, China has put 450 ministerial level officials in jail on corruption charges,” he added.

Talking about the opposition political parties’ alliance aimed at toppling his government, Khan said there was no way he would relent.

“There’s no way I will ever relent. Look, we are facing the biggest trade gap in our history. Our imports were $60 billion, but exports were only $20 billion. The rupee is falling and there’s inflation because we import fuel.

“Everything is getting more and more expensive, even electricity. We have to raise our revenues, so we have to increase our tax base. We’re going through these painful reforms and all these guys from the opposition get together. They are worried that once we stabilise things, they will all end up in jail because of huge corruption cases,” he stated.

Agency

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