Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has opened up about his country’s relationship with the US and China in an interview with Washington Post on Thursday, as reported by Economic Times.
Referring to the 1980’s war against the Soviet Union where Pakistan was funded to fight, he said that he would never want a relationship where Pakistan was treated like a “hired gun”. He stated, "We should never put ourselves in this position again. It not only cost us human lives, the devastation of our tribal areas, but it also cost us our dignity. We want a proper relationship with the US.”
On the type of relationship he would like to forge with the US, he likened it to the one with China. Elaborating that it was not one dimensional and was more trade based, he said Pakistan wants a similar one with the US. He said that Pakistan was not moving towards China, rather the US pushed them away, leading to the change in the bilateral relationship. Disagreeing with his tag of ‘anti-American’, he said that Washington was very imperialistic.
He condemned the Abbottabad operation in 2011, that killed Osama Bin Laden, saying it was humiliating to Pakistan to lose their soldiers in the US war, yet not be trusted to kill the terrorist themselves. He added that the US could have tipped off Pakistan, saying they didn't understand their position, as a friend or foe.
He dismissed claims of havens for terrorists in Pakistan. He also added he was committed to a dialogue to achieve peace in Afghanistan. He stated that his theory that only a political solution would work in the war-torn country was now being accepted. He said that this time there should be a settlement and not chaos.
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