-Says Pakistan will benefit from China’s expertise in multiple sectors
-Expresses sadness over OIC’s lack of action regarding Kashmir
-Emphasizes on Hindu supremacist ideology
-Plans visit to Karachi on Saturday
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan enjoyed good relationship with both China and the United States without siding with any particular “camp”.
“Pakistan does not have to be in any camp. Why can’t we have good relationship with everyone?,” the Prime Minister said in an interview with Aljazeera television, aired on Thursday.
The interview with senior correspondent Hashem Ahelbarra at ‘Talk to Aljazeera’ programme gave an insight into PM Imran Khan’s views on his first two years in office, fight against corruption, coping with geopolitical changes, economy, media freedom and the country’s response to coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister said every country looked to its own interests and for Pakistan, “Our future is now linked to China, progressing at faster pace than any other country in the world”.
He dismissed any renegotiation with China over amending the terms of $62 billion Economic Corridor, saying that “the relationship with China was better than even before”.
Imran Khan said Pakistan would like to benefit from the way China made progress and lifted its people out of poverty.
Asked if Pakistan considered ‘resetting’ ties with the US being critical of CPEC, he said, “We probably have the best relationship with US right now as compared to a few years ago, because in Afghanistan, we are ‘partners with peace’.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan has lamented that eight million people in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir have been put in open prison by Indian forces since Delhi’s Aug 5 move of annexing the disputed territory.
PM Imran Khan said that when he became the country’s prime minister, he extended a hand of friendship towards India, but India took it lightly and revoked the special status of Kashmir last year in August. “Indian is being ruled by an extremist government. It is a Hindu supremacist government inspired by the ideology of the Nazis,” he added.
He has once again warned the world of serious implications of breakout of any conflict between Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir.
In response to a question about whether he thinks Western countries abandoned Pakistan on the issue of occupied Kashmir, He said, “The reason why the world is not responding over Kashmir issue because countries worrying about their commercial interests. They look upon India as a huge market and ignoring such a huge travesty of justice in Kashmir.”
The prime minister Imran Khan further said that Pakistan raised Kashmir issue at UNSC and will not keep silent and continue raising voice for the oppressed people of Indian-occupied Kashmir who have been demanding their right to self-determination.
Commenting over Pakistan’s efforts in tackling coronavirus, the premier said that Pakistan made “difficult and very best decision” by not imposing complete lockdown in the country like and sealed virus hotspots under smart lockdown. “We went for a smart lockdown to control the pandemic and protect the vulnerable segments of the society from its impacts.”
Reaffirming the government’s stance against corruption, Imran Khan said this is the first time that the powerful are being held accountable.
“Pakistan has been put in the right direction over the last two years,” he said and added that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government introduced economic reforms, health insurance, Sehat cards and facilitated the businesses. When asked about the Afghan peace process, PM Imran said there is only one country India which does not want to see peace in Afghanistan. “Pakistan tried its best to get the Taliban and the Afghan government on the table of negotiations. We have reached close to peace and political reconciliation. This is a miracle that this is happening in Afghanistan and we pray this happens.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that both civilian government and the military have the most harmonious relationship are on the same page.
“Pakistan Army is standing together with the government’s policies be it related to India or Afghanistan,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran will arrive in Karachi on Saturday to resolve city’s civic and infrastructure problems. As per details, the prime minister will now visit the port city on September 5 (Saturday) where he will announce a special package for the rain-hit city. In a tweet on Thursday, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that Karachi’s development is a guarantee of Pakistan’s prosperity. “PM Imran Khan is committed to restore the glory of Karachi as the city of lights.”
The prime minister would announce uplift projects to transform infrastructure in the city, besides also meeting the stakeholders and coalition parties from the metropolis. The federal government has also decided to release funds for the projects in the city and the matter would be discussed in the meeting of the coalition partners scheduled with the prime minister.
The prime minister will also chair a meeting to assess devastation from the torrential rains in the city.
Earlier on Wednesday, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Wednesday said that they have agreed in principle over a package for Karachi and consultation over the funds have been completed. Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that divided administrative powers were the biggest reason behind Karachi’s problems.
Presiding over a high-level meeting on Karachi Transformation Plan (KTP) in Islamabad, PM Imran said that recent rains have exposed administrative lacunas as well as caused difficulties for the people of the metropolis of which the federal government is fully cognizant.
He said that an empowered and effective system is being formulated to ensure implementation on the timelines set for various projects, which is vital for the success of the plan.
PM Imran said that attention of federal and provincial governments have time and again been drawn towards this issue. He said it is need of the hour that powers related to water supply scheme, sewage treatment and disposal, solid waste management and building control authority be delegated to an authorized administrator or local government. The meeting reviewed the KTP for the resolution of longstanding problems of the people of Karachi.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Imran would arrive in Karachi on Saturday to resolve city’s civic and infrastructure problems. As per details, the prime minister will visit the port city on September 5 (Saturday) where he will announce a special package for the rain-hit city. In a tweet on Thursday, Information Minister Shibli Faraz had said that Karachi’s development was a guarantee of Pakistan’s prosperity. “PM Imran Khan is committed to restore the glory of Karachi as the city of lights.”