Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has dismissed criticism of asking for aid while visiting the US, saying he ‘never bowed down to anyone,’ and likened his triumphant homecoming to “winning the World Cup.”
The premier arrived home after a three-day trip to the United States where he met Donald Trump. The goal of Khan’s trip was mainly to mend ties with the US which have been rocky in the face of the war on terror.
Khan was welcomed back by jubilant crowds at Islamabad Airport, which the former cricket star said felt like “I’ve won the World Cup and come home.”
But it was not all cheers. Opposition leader and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari earlier this week blasted Khan as an “embarrassment” to the nation, calling him a “beggar” who “dances to umpire’s tunes” instead of taking care of his people. But Khan was undaunted by the criticism.
“Neither have I bowed down to anyone nor will I let my nation to do so. All my struggle is focused on making our country one of the great nations of the world.” Khan said.
He blasted Pakistan’s former government, saying that “thieves put this country in a difficult spot,” and promised that “they will be held accountable.”
“We will collect that stolen money and spend it on the people,” he said.
Imran Khan flew to the US on a commercial flight instead of a private jet –to cut expenses in line with an austerity drive. During his visit to Washington, the premier had his first face-to-face meeting with Donald Trump, during which he promised the US president to assist in resolving the conflict in Afghanistan. Khan said he would negotiate in talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
In return, Trump spoke of the possibility of mediating over the issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan. He even claimed that India’s PM Modi had asked him to mediate on the same issue. India has since contradicted President Trump’s version.
3. Surprised by reaction of India to Pres Trump's offer of mediation to bring Pak & India to dialogue table for resolving Kashmir conflict which has held subcontinent hostage for 70 yrs. Generations of Kashmiris have suffered & are suffering daily and need conflict resolution.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 23, 2019
RT with additional input from GVS News Desk