Previous govts tried delivering to US what they weren’t able to: PM Imran Khan

Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photo: File.
Prime Minister Imran Khan. Picture: File.
  • PM Imran Khan says Pakistans desires a “civilised relationship” with the US.
  • Says it was Pakistan that pressurised the Taliban to carry talks with the USA in addition to the Afghan authorities.
  • Says if India had a unique authorities, Pakistan would have had a greater relationship with it.

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Imran Khan just lately gave an interview to The New York Times about Pakistan’s deliberate future technique as soon as the USA leaves Afghanistan and stated that previously, the US stored anticipating extra from Pakistan, whereas earlier governments “tried to ship what they weren’t able to”.

Replying to a query associated to Pakistan’s future relationship with the US after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, PM Khan stated that Pakistan has at all times had a better relationship with the USA than neighbouring India.

“After 9/11, Pakistan once more opted to affix the US warfare on terror. Now, after the US leaves Afghanistan, mainly Pakistan would desire a civilised relationship, which you’ve between nations, and we wish to enhance our buying and selling relationship with the US,” he stated.

When requested what he meant by a “civilised” relationship, the premier stated that Pakistan expects an “evenhanded” relationship which, as an illustration, the US holds with Britain or India in the meanwhile.

He stated that Pakistan and the US shared a slightly “lopsided” relationship through the warfare on terror, including that Pakistan’s participation within the warfare claimed the lives of 70,000 Pakistanis along with a lack of over $150 billion as a result of ensuing bombings and suicide assaults.

“The US stored anticipating extra from Pakistan. And sadly, Pakistani governments tried to ship what they weren’t able to,” he stated. “What we wish sooner or later is a relationship primarily based on belief and customary goals. That’s really what now we have proper now with the US — I imply, our goals in Afghanistan are precisely the identical in the present day.”

When questioned about whether or not Pakistan will have the ability to retain its strategic significance to the US as soon as it pulls out of Afghanistan, the premier stated that he has “not thought of it in that manner”.

As for the way forward for the relations pertaining to army and safety considerations between Pakistan and the US, PM Khan stated that he doesn’t know of that in the meanwhile both.

“Put up the US withdrawal, I don’t know what kind of army relationship it is going to be. However proper now, the connection must be primarily based on this frequent goal that there’s a political resolution in Afghanistan earlier than the USA leaves as a result of Pakistan doesn’t desire a civil warfare, a bloody civil warfare in Afghanistan.”

“And I’m positive neither does the US, after it leaves, desires the nation going up in flames after spending, God is aware of, $1 or $2 trillion. In order that’s a typical goal,” he stated.

Shedding mild on Pakistan’s position within the Afghan peace talks and the worry of a civil warfare in Afghanistan, the premier stated that Pakistan has used the utmost leverage it might on the Taliban.

“Mainly, Pakistan was the nation that had recognised Taliban — one among three international locations after 1996. Provided that the USA gave a date of withdrawal, from then onward, our leverage diminished on the Taliban. And the reason being that the second the USA gave a date of exit, the Taliban mainly claimed victory. They’re pondering that they received the warfare. And so, due to this fact, our capacity to affect them diminishes the stronger they really feel,” the PM stated.

He added that it was Pakistan that pressurised the Taliban to carry talks with the USA in addition to the Afghan authorities.

When requested if Pakistan has no extra leverage left in terms of the Taliban, the premier stated that Pakistan has steered the Taliban to not go for a army victory after the US withdrawal as it might result in a civil warfare within the nation.

“And the nation that may be affected by civil warfare, after Afghanistan, could be Pakistan. We’d be affected as a result of there are extra Pashtuns in Pakistan than in Afghanistan,” he stated.

He stated that for the reason that Taliban are primarily a Pashtun motion, it’ll impression Pakistan in two methods.

“One, we’re scared that this can be one other inflow of refugees into Pakistan. Already, the nation has discovered it very tough to deal with three million Afghan refugees. And so there can be one other inflow into Pakistan.”

“Secondly, our imaginative and prescient for the long run is lifting our financial system and buying and selling via Afghanistan into Central Asia. We’ve got signed superb commerce offers with the Central Asian republics, however we will solely go there via Afghanistan. If there’s a civil warfare, all that goes down the drain,” he stated.

The premier additionally emphasised that Pakistan will solely recognise a authorities in Afghanistan whether it is chosen by the folks of Afghanistan.

‘I do know India higher than all Pakistanis’

The premier was additionally questioned whether or not Indo-Pakistan relations would enhance if the Modi authorities leaves energy. In response, he stated that he “is aware of India higher than every other Pakistani”.

He stated that he has had “love and respect from India [more] than anybody as a result of cricket is an enormous sport”.

“It’s nearly a faith in each international locations.”

The premier stated that when he turned the top of the state, approaching India’s Narendra Modi was the very first thing he did and instructed him that he goals to alleviate poverty in Pakistan.

“And one of the simplest ways could be if India and Pakistan had a standard, civilised buying and selling relationship. It might profit each international locations,” the PM stated he instructed Modi.

“So we tried. Didn’t get wherever. I believe that it’s a peculiar ideology of the (Hindu nationalist group) RSS, which Narendra Modi belongs to, which simply got here up towards a brick wall. And due to this fact the reply to your query is sure. Had there been one other Indian management, I believe we might have had an excellent relationship with them. And sure, we might have resolved all our variations via dialogue.”

On Kashmir

When requested if Pakistan would take into account it an Indian win if Kashmir’s established order stays the identical, PM Imran Khan stated that it might be a “catastrophe for India.”

“[That is because] it’ll simply imply that this battle festers on and on. And so so long as it festers, it’s going to cease there being any relationship — regular relationship — between Pakistan and India.”

Pakistan’s relations with China and the irreconcilable odds with US and India

The premier was questioned about Pakistan’s relationship with China and the way it impacts each the US and India. In response, he stated that he finds it “very odd” that China and the US would turn out to be nice rivals.

“It is mindless as a result of the world would actually profit if the 2 giants, financial giants, actually acquired alongside and traded with one another. So it might be a profit for all of us.”

He additionally stated that Pakistan has no purpose to decide on any sides and desires to have an excellent relationship with everybody.

“China is the nation that got here to Pakistan’s assist. And clearly, we’ve had an extended relationship with China.”

“I don’t see why the US ought to assume that India goes to be this bulwark towards China. If India takes on this position, I believe it might be detrimental for India as a result of India’s commerce with China goes to be helpful for each India and China.”

“So I’m simply watching the state of affairs unfold and with a bit of hysteria,” he stated.

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