NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: Ahead of a no-confidence vote against him, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday showered praises on his country’s arch-rival India, saying that “no superpower can dictate terms” to New Delhi, and blamed the US for his prospective exit from the top office.
In an address to the nation on Friday evening, Khan, 69, hailed India as a “self-respecting nation” (khuddar qaum) and blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the revocation of special status to Kashmir for chilling relations between India and Pakistan.
“India got Independence along with us. I know about India more than anyone else (in Pakistan). Because of cricket, I had friends there and I received a lot of respect and love there. I am very disappointed that we don’t enjoy a good relationship with them just because of RSS ideology and what they did in Kashmir,” Khan said.
“But they are a self-respecting nation. No superpower can dare dictate terms to them as they do to Pakistan. In spite of sanctions, they continue to import oil from Russia because it is in interests of their people,” the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stated.
He said that India must have an Independent foreign policy like India.
The cricketer-turned-politician expressed his commitment to putting the interests of Pakistanis first. “I can’t sacrifice the interests of my own people,” he said even as he blamed a senior US official for the no-trust confidence move.
Khan will face a no-confidence motion move by a joined Opposition in the National Assembly that he is in all likelihood would lose on Saturday.
In his address, Khan seemed to accept the writing on the wall as he appealed to the masses to come out against the “imported government”. He said he would not sit idly by and continue to struggle against the foreign intervention in Pakistan’s internal matters.
PM Imran Khan said there was foreign interference in the no-confidence motion against him. “I wanted the Supreme Court to at least look at it,” he added.
In a dramatic chain of events, the Deputy Speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly had on last Sunday rejected a no-confidence motion against PM Khan under Article 5 of the Constitution which says loyalty to the state is the basic duty of every citizen.
The Opposition had challenged the rejection in the Supreme Court which said the move was “unconstitutional” and directed PM Khan to face the motion on Saturday, April 9.