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Web Desk
May 11, 2021

Pakistan not talking with India: PM Imran Khan

Web Desk
Tue, May 11, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has categorically said that Pakistan is not talking with India and will not hold negotiations until the special status of Indian Occupied Kashmir is restored.

This, he said, while responding to a question regarding human rights abuses in India and a muted response from the international community during a live Q&A session with the public.

The prime minister said it was a fact that most of the Western countries and their media, used human rights issues to promote their foreign policy objectives rather than provide justice to victims.

Speaking on India's efforts to counter China’s growing military and economic power, he said it was a futile effort on New Delhi's part, adding that India will suffer in the process.

He addressed concerns by Kashmiris of Pakistan returning to the negotiating table with India, saying that till New Delhi did not reverse its August 5 decision of scrapping Article 370, the government of Pakistan will not hold any dialogue with it.

Battle against mafia

In response to a question as to why there was no rule of law in Pakistan, the prime minister said the powerful and the weak should both be equal before the law.

He said it would take time for change to take shape in Pakistan, adding that expecting the country to be reformed overnight would only lead to disappointment.

"I can't turn on a switch and rivers of milk will flow," he said.

He credited Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) with establishing the State of Madinah where everyone was equal before the law.

The prime minister shared the example of Germany, Japan and other states who were destroyed after World War II but managed to stand on their own feet within a span of 10 years.

"Countries are destroyed when the heads of governments steal money in the billions and send them abroad," he said.

He said, unfortunately, Pakistan's democrats had not been honest with the nation and cited the example of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is facing charges of corruption.

PM Imran Khan then spoke against the various cartels and mafias in the country, saying that they were benefitting from a corrupt system in the country.

The prime minister said fighting the status quo and mafias was the only reason he had become a politician in the first place.

"You all [Pakistanis] have to stand with me in this war," he said. "And Insha'Allah, I will win this war."

‘Embassies tasked to resolve overseas Pakistanis' complaints’

One caller complained about the ill-treatment meted out to him by a foreign embassy to which the prime minister spoke about his recent public criticism of Pakistani diplomats.

PM Imran Khan praised Pakistan's embassies and their staff members, saying that they had rendered great services for Pakistan, especially when it comes to highlighting the Kashmir issue in front of the entire world.

The premier said he had directed embassies to start online services to overseas Pakistanis can register their complaints at a portal which will be set up under the supervision of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

He said embassies have been directed to solve two issues relating to overseas Pakistanis; to solve problems and issues raised by the Pakistani diaspora abroad and to facilitate Pakistanis abroad in investing in the country. 

Appointed Shaukat Tareen finance minister to slash inflation, increase growth: PM Imran Khan

In response to a question on social media where a person asked the prime minister about the inflationary situation in the country, the prime minister said increased prices of basic commodities bothered him the most.

"I have brought [appointed] Jahangir Tareen solely for two reasons; to bring down inflation and increase growth," he said.

The prime minister then showed a graph, explaining that prices of petroleum products in Pakistan were much lower than those in other countries such as India.

He said food inflation and prices of items of basic necessity had grown manifold around the globe, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are not an island; whatever happens in the world effects us as well," he said.

The premier said rising electricity costs were also one reason why prices of food and other items were increasing. He said all contracts relating to the generation of electricity were signed decades ago.

He said due to the contracts signed by the predecessor government with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), the government was making hefty payments for electricity in "capacity contracts" whether the government made use of the electricity generated by these IPPs or not.

PM Imran Khan on Jahangir Tareen, corruption cases

The prime minister said there were "small and influential" dacoits in the country, adding that corruption by the latter damages an entire country.

He cited the example of PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, saying that he was accused of misappropriating Rs7bn. "This is just one case against him' there are many others registered against him [Shahbaz Sharif]," he said, adding that it was just the "tip of the iceberg".

The prime minister said when General (retd) Musharraf gave an NRO to Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, it caused massive economic repercussions for Pakistan.

"I will never given an NRO to any corrupt person," he said. "Not because I want to save my government but because I fear Allah. I will have to give my account in front of him," he added.

The prime minister said sugar baron Jahangir Tareen was of the view that he had been mistreated. "I have never been unjust towards even my enemies, the ones against whom I have been struggling for the past 25 years," he said.

He clarified that though he will not subject anyone to unjust treatment, the prime minister vowed not to let anyone off the hook who were involved in hoarding sugar prices.

PM Imran Khan said the Sharifs and Zardaris did not pay taxes on sugar neither and hiked prices of sugar whenever they wanted.

"I promise you, no one [who is guilty] will be allowed to go scot-free but also, no one will be mistreated," he said, referring to Tareen's allegations.

PM says Pakistan trying to galvanise collective support from Muslim countries against Israeli atrocities

Responding to a caller, the prime minister condemned atrocities committed by Israel against unarmed Palestinians, regretting that violence had taken place on the holy night of Ramadan 27 and at Al-Aqsa mosque.

PM Imran said he had directed FM Qureshi to speak to the foreign ministers of Turkey and Saudi Arabia to galvanise support for the Palestinians and speak out against atrocities being committed against the Palestinians.

"One country cannot do anything alone," he said. "When a large group of Muslim countries band together, then it will make a difference and we are trying to do that," he added.

PM Imran Khan said he had also spoken at length with the Saudi crown prince over rising incidences of Islamophobia, adding that Pakistan will try to gain collective support from the Muslim countries to battle this issue as well.