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Pakistan not your ‘hired gun’ anymore: PM Khan tells Trump


News Desk |

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first foreign interview to the Washington Post has told President Donald Trump that Pakistan is not US’ hired gun anymore. The statement is in line with his anti-imperialist stance and his recent stern behavior towards the US President.

In a wide-ranging interview with the top US newspaper, the premier said he wanted a ‘proper relationship’ with Washington. While answering questions on the future of US-Pakistan ties he stated: “I would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun — given money to fight someone else’s war.

“I went as an 18-year-old to play cricket in England. It was the first time I saw a welfare state. It cared for the underprivileged, for the people who can’t compete in the race.”

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 would like a proper relationship with the U.S.”

Elaborating on his Twitter exchange with the US President, PM Khan stated that “‘it was not really a Twitter war, it was just setting the record right. The exchange was about being blamed for deeply flawed U.S. policies — the military approach to Afghanistan.”

He again defended Pakistan’s role in the region by stating that there were no terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistani territory. Rejecting the US rhetoric on sheltering Taliban leaders here, Khan said he was briefed about the situation and that he was told that Pakistan has asked the US several times to share where the sanctuaries are.

Read more: Is Trump’s letter a failure of his “New South Asia” policy?

“We have 2.7 million Afghan refugees. Our border between Pakistan and Afghanistan has the greatest amount of surveillance. The US has satellites and drones. These people crossing would be seen,” he stated.

On Trump’s letter seeking support, the PM said: “Peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest. We will do everything”. He stressed the recent drive for talks by the US is a vindication of his stance. “I talked for years about how there was no military solution in Afghanistan, and they called me “Taliban Khan.” If you did not agree with the U.S. policy, you were [thought to be] anti-American. Now I’m happy that everyone realizes there is only a political solution… From Pakistan’s point of view, we do not want the Americans to leave Afghanistan in a hurry like they did in 1989.”

“I want to make Pakistan an equitable, just society. I believe in a welfare state. I would be on the opposite side of President Donald Trump in terms of economic policy, probably closer to Senator Bernie Sanders.”

He also defended ties with China. PM Khan stated that the national relationship with China was not one-dimensional. It’s a trade relationship between two countries and we wanted a similar relationship with the US. It was the US that basically pushed Pakistan away.

He also spoke on Pakistan’s current economic position and highlighted the positive side of things. “Exxon has come back to Pakistan after 27 years, and they’re doing a big exploration for us. PepsiCo has put extra investments because we are a clean government. We won’t be asking them for money.”

He also delved upon Pak-India relations and stated that he was committed to peace between the two archrivals. “India rebuffed all my overtures because they have elections and the ruling [BJP] party has an anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan approach,” he added. In the end, he focused upon his grand desire for the nation.

Read more: Admission of defeat? Trump writes to PM Khan

“I want to make Pakistan an equitable, just society. I believe in a welfare state. I would be on the opposite side of President Donald Trump in terms of economic policy, probably closer to Senator Bernie Sanders.”

“I went as an 18-year-old to play cricket in England. It was the first time I saw a welfare state. It cared for the underprivileged, for the people who can’t compete in the race.”