ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he was trying his best to avert the conflict between the United States and Iran.
In an interview with senior correspondent of CNN Christiane Amanpour, on a question about Iran-US tensions, Imran Khan said, “It (the conflict) will be a nightmare for Pakistan. We are coming out of this very difficult situation where we had a massive current account deficit and we are just getting ourselves right. So, Pakistan does not want conflict near its borders. I feel this will be awful once it starts. We should do everything to stop it.”
He said a conflict in the Persian Gulf could lead to increase in global oil prices and a host of other issues. He said to be fair with President Trump, all his instincts were against war, despite some people were pushing him. “I also spoke to President Rouhani of Iran and let’s see how it develops.”
To a query, Prime Minister Imran said world needed to understand the gravity of the human rights situation after the curfew was lifted from the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
He said the enormity of the situation could be gauged from the presence of 900,000 troops in the held territory.
Imran Khan ruled out a meeting with his Indian counterpart in New York after what Modi had done in the Occupied Kashmir. He said besieging the Kashmiris for over 50 days was testimony of the mindset in India that believed in hate.
The prime minister said Narendra Modi represented RSS that was established in 1925, after inspiring from Adolph Hitler and Nazism. RSS believed in ethnic cleansing of Muslims in India, he maintained. “This ideology of racial superiority was also responsible for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi who was considered soft on Muslims.”
Replying to a question, he said President Donald Trump headed the most powerful country in the world and was in best position to do something about the issue of Kashmir. He said Modi did not want international mediation as he knew the moment this issue became internationalized, the world would understand that the Kashmiris were fighting for the right to self-determination and were subjected to worst human rights abuses by Indian forces.
Imran Khan said he believed international community moves on this issue as it was a flashpoint between two nuclear armed countries. He said if it was something localized, the world would not had been pushed about it.
He said India had been using fake narrative that it was stationing troops in Occupied Kashmir for prosperity of Kashmiris, which was totally false.
On a question, the premier said Indian allegations on Pakistan of mobilizing militants in Kashmir was an attempt by New Delhi to divert attention of international community from the impending massacre. “They are invoking the term of Islamic terrorism as it resonates with some people in Western capitals in the post 9/11 world,” he said. He questioned what a small number of terrorists could do in front of nine hundred thousand troops.
Imran Khan said he had clearly told the people of Pakistan that anyone going to fight in Kashmir would be treated as enemy of the country. “This is the first time two nuclear armed countries stand face to face,” he maintained. He said it happened in February this year when we shot down two Indian fighter jets after India launched a strike and returned the Indian pilot as a goodwill gesture.
“I also told the Indian public at that time that if the situation goes further, it will be out of hands of both Prime Ministers.”
Imran Khan said the whole election campaign of Narendra Modi was based on jingoism and war hysteria.
Replying to a question regarding the acceptance of the IMF deal by his government, he said the incumbent government inherited the biggest current account deficit in Pakistan’s history. “We also had to service huge debts accumulated by previous governments. Had we not gone to IMF, we could have defaulted,” he said. He said situation had stabilized on the economic front and positive signs were emerging.
Imran Khan said we also campaigned for anti-corruption and were expanding the tax base of the country. He said this was a credible government and more people will pay tax now as they trust the government.
He told Christiane Amanpour that Pakistan was not responsible for the US not succeeding in Afghanistan.
“The US had more than one hundred and fifty thousand troops in the neighboring country and the biggest war machine. But it is historical fact that Afghanis have always stood up against the foreigners. There is no military solution to Afghan conflict. Pakistan has supported the dialogue process and it hopes that the stalled talks process will resume,” he said.