European embassies pressure Pakistan over UN vote on Ukraine war
The ambassadors of European Union nations to Pakistan appealed Tuesday for Islamabad to support an emergency resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine after the country abstained from an earlier vote on the crisis.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is attempting a balancing act in relations with the world’s superpowers — particularly as Islamabad’s value to the United States has slipped following the withdrawal of foreign forces from neighbouring Afghanistan.
“We urge Pakistan to join us in condemning Russia’s actions and to voice support for upholding the UN charter and the founding principles of international law,” said a statement signed by the envoys from EU member states, as well as Britain, Canada, Japan, Norway and Switzerland.
Pakistan on Monday abstained from a UN Human Rights Council vote calling for an urgent debate on the war, which was nevertheless pushed through and is due to take place on Thursday.
Pakistan has repeatedly stressed it favours “dialogue” as a solution to the crisis.
The day Russia invaded Ukraine, Khan was in Moscow meeting President Vladimir Putin in what was widely considered an ill-timed visit.
On Monday, Khan defended the trip — the first by a Pakistani leader to Russia in more than two decades.
“My foreign policy is independent and visits to China and Russia will prove beneficial for Pakistan in the future,” he said in a televised address.
China — both a close ally of Russia and Pakistan — has poured billions of dollars into Pakistan in recent years to boost the country’s infrastructure.