Thursday, Aug 18, 2022

Pakistan Won't Join Any Camp In Global Politics: PM Imran Amid Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Amid mounting tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine and increasing Sino-US rivalry, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his country won't be joining any camp in Global politics.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday that his country would not join any camp in global politics as he asserted that Islamabad's strategic direction was to "maintain relations with everyone," amid mounting tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine and increasing Sino-US rivalry.

"We do not want to be in a position that implies as if we are a part of a certain camp," Prime Minister Khan said while interacting with journalists, former diplomats and representatives of think tanks in Islamabad.

Khan also rejected the impression that Pakistan was more inclined towards China than any other country, saying the country's strategic direction was to "maintain relations with everyone".

To a question, the prime minister said that he believed that Rawalpindi - the Headquarters of the powerful army which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 74 plus years of existence — was also clear about Pakistan's strategic position. The Pakistan Army has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.

It is not for the first time that Khan has said that he would not follow the US and China in case of a new Cold War.

Earlier this month, Khan said that Pakistan wanted to play the role of bringing together the United States and China because "another Cold War" would not benefit anyone.

The relations between China and the US are at an all time low. The two countries are currently engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, the communist giant's aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea and human rights.

Last month, National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf also said that Pakistan would not follow any camp in global politics.

Also, Pakistan has also maintained a discreet silence over the issue of Ukraine, while urging for a peaceful solution of the issue.

Russia has deployed over 100,000 troops near the Ukraine Border. US President Joe Biden has warned that the US and its allies would “respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs” if Russia invades Ukraine.

Talking on Afghanistan, Khan said the international community had a consensus over the issue.

"Europe and all the neighbouring states of Afghanistan agreed to avoid a humanitarian crisis there and stressed upon de-freezing of Afghan’s assets," he said, adding that the US also had realised the situation.

President Biden signed an executive order on Friday allowing USD 7 billion in frozen assets from Afghanistan's central bank to be distributed for humanitarian assistance in the war-torn country and to victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Talking about the domestic challenges, Khan highlighted red-tapism as one of the hurdles in reforming the country. He said that the empowerment of provinces at the cost of the federal government had also created problems.

Khan said that only a government having a two-thirds majority in parliament can bring revolutionary changes in the country.

He also said that his recent visit to China will accelerate work on the ongoing projects of the USD 60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that seven projects under the CPEC had been completed so far, while the number of joint working groups had increased from seven to 11.