Prime Minister Imran Khan hails New Delhi’s ‘independent foreign policy’ in the face of Russia-Ukraine conflict
Prime Minister Imran Khan has again slammed foreign powers, which have tried to pressure Pakistan to sever ties with Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, vowing to continue making sovereign political decisions for the benefit of his nation and his people.
“For these 3.5 years, we have only tried to help Pakistan prosper,” Prime Minister Khan spoke about his ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party at a public rally in the city of Dargai on Sunday.
The prime minister explained why he refused to join the international chorus condemning Russia for its attack on Ukraine, saying Pakistan would have gained nothing by complying with the demand. Diplomats representing nearly two dozen missions, including EU countries as well as Japan, Switzerland, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, “broke protocol by making the request” in a March 1 letter, he added.
I haven’t bowed to anyone and I won’t let my nation bow either.
Imran Khan faces a vote of no confidence this week, after losing his parliamentary majority following multiple defections from his party. The Prime Minister directly reprimanded the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, saying that Shehbaz Sharif “shined boots when he saw a white man in a suit.”
“I have sworn not to bow to anyone but God” Khan reiterated, pointing to the US-led Global War on Terror as an example of a political decision forced by the West that ultimately only caused suffering in Pakistan. “We participated in the American war on terrorism in Afghanistan and lost 80,000 people and $100 billion.”
Pakistan has come under increased Western pressure to publicly denounce and distance itself from Moscow, after it abstained from voting on a UN General Assembly resolution condemning Moscow’s military actions against Kyiv, opting instead to remain neutral alongside 34 other countries, including China, South Africa and India. .
Despite being a vocal critic of the Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khan paid tribute to the neighboring country for making “independent” decisions in the interest of their citizens.
Japan urges India to denounce Russia
India is also facing international pressure and criticism to remain neutral and take a pragmatic approach to ensuring the country’s energy security. New Delhi continues to buy Russian oil, which is available at discounted prices, as some countries avoid it for fear of retaliatory sanctions from the United States.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, with the declared aim of “demilitarize and denazify” his government, ensuring that its aspirations for NATO membership no longer pose a threat to either Russia or the newly recognized Donbas republics, which have suffered seven years of siege by kyiv forces.
The United States and its allies have accused Russia of launching a “without provocation” invasion to occupy Ukraine. Moscow has seen thousands of tough new restrictions and sanctions imposed as a result, with the US, EU and others seeking to “isolate” and “destroy” the Russian economy.