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Tuesday September 27, 2022

Do you think Pakistan is a slave, PM asks Western envoys

About 400 drone attacks were recorded during 2008 to 2018 in Pakistan, Imran Khan

March 07, 2022
Do you think Pakistan is a slave, PM asks Western envoys

MULTAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan hit out on Sunday at Islamabad-based Western envoys who last week urged Pakistan to condemn Russia's actions in Ukraine, asking them if they thought Pakistan was a "slave".

Taking note of the letter sent to the government by the European Union ambassadors over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the premier asked the EU envoys whether they had sent such a letter to India. He said it was Pakistan that had supported Nato in the war on terror.

"The rulers at that time supported these countries. What was the outcome of that war: Pakistan lost 80,000 precious lives, 3.5 million people in the tribal areas were displaced while the country suffered an economic loss of $100 billion dollars." The prime minister said that instead of acknowledging such huge sacrifices, certain countries in the West blamed Pakistan for their failures in Afghanistan. “I ask EU ambassadors, did you thank us? Did you say we helped you in your war? Did you appreciate us?" The premier reminded the EU envoys that instead of thanking Pakistan, there were some people in the West that scapegoated Islamabad.

“In Kashmir, India brazenly violated the UNSC resolutions. Have you criticised or severed ties with India or stopped trade?” the prime minister asked. Referring to the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict, the prime minister said that they did not want strained relations with any country. “We desire good ties with all countries, including Russia, the US and China, and will not become a part of any camp,” he said, adding that Pakistan would endeavour to stop the war in Ukraine and would support such efforts as its impacts were resulting in economic woes across the world, with prices of gas and petroleum spiraling. “Pakistan will not be a partner in any war, but will support all efforts for peace,” he emphasised.

He said about 400 drone attacks were recorded during 2008 to 2018 in Pakistan. In history, it had never happened that a country fighting another’s war had been targeted. The two former ruling families never mustered the courage to question these gross violations of the international laws, he said, adding, they never felt ashamed over such drone attacks targeting innocent families in the tribal areas. The prime minister warned he would direct the air force to shoot down any drone violating Pakistan’s airspace.

Imran Khan said he was born to parents who had taught him not to become subservient to anyone. "I have neither bowed before anyone nor will let the nation bow before any other country," he declared. He further said that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari cannot adopt an independent foreign policy as they have bank accounts in foreign countries where they have stashed their looted money and where their children live and enjoy luxurious life.

The heads of 22 diplomatic missions released a joint letter on March 1 urging Pakistan to support a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

The move to release the letter publicly was rare. "What do you think of us? Are we slaves ... that whatever you say, we will do?" Khan said while addressing a political rally.

In the event, Pakistan, a traditional ally of the West, abstained from voting as the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly reprimanded Russia for invading Ukraine. He said Pakistan had suffered because it had supported the Western Nato alliance in Afghanistan, and instead of gratitude faced criticism. On Friday, a Pakistani foreign office spokesman said it was "not usual diplomatic practice" for envoys to make appeals such as their letter public, "and we have made that clear".

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