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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Allow us the luxury to stay neutral: Imran Khan defends his visit to Russia

Pakistan’s future is tied up with Russia in terms of oil, gas, and specifically wheat.

“I don’t believe that military solutions exist in this world because when you try to solve a problem through the use of force, you end up creating a lot of other problems.”  Imran Khan opens up on his stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict in his interview with German news agency DW news. “If I was consulted (by Russia) about the Ukraine war, I would certainly have advised not to go into that.”

“Pakistan’s future is tied up with Russia in terms of oil, gas, and specifically wheat. When you start condemning people you start taking sides and we are not rich enough to have the luxury of taking sides.”

The former prime minister, Imran Khan, also justified his visit to Russia which coincided with the beginning of the war on February, 24 in his interview with DW’s Richard Walker.  “Hardly did I know that this would happen on the same day, I was not consulted about that. Had I known (Russia’s plans to start the war on the same day), I would certainly not have taken the trip.”

Read more: Russia Ukraine Crisis: Why Russia?

“Our Russian trip was planned a lot of time before and we wanted to build good ties with Russia, unlike the cold war days when we were at odds against each other. Imran Khan told DW’s Richard Walker. All the stakeholders in Pakistan were concerned about improving our relations with Russia and a unanimous decision was made to go along with the plan.”

“We came to the conclusion that if we cancel our plans at this time, we will put our relationship with Russia in cold storage. Bearing in mind the future where we need Russian oil, a deal of gas pipeline, and wheat to meet our domestic consumption, a cancelation would have been the country’s loss.”

Former Prime Minister also asked the world community “why are we supposed to condemn European issues but the world leaders would not condemn Kashmir, where India has usurped the right of the people.” He also asked world community to not put us in a spot where we have to take sides, allow us the luxury to stay neutral so that we can look after our own people.

Read more: How did Russia welcome PM Imran Khan?

PTI leader also maintained his stance of US conspiracy behind his removal from PM office. “My party members started to abandon us after Donald Lu issued a threat to Pakistan in a meeting with our ambassador in Washington that unless Imran Khan was removed by the vote of no confidence, there will be consequences for Pakistan. No confidence motion was tabled the very next day after this threat.