ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan did it again – he praised India. At a massive rally in Lahore on Saturday, Khan released a video clip of Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankardefending his country’s position on buying cheap oil from Russia against Western pressure.
Days before his ouster and since, Khan had set an example for India as a country pursuing an independent foreign policy suited to the interests of its people, despite being a known critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NDA government. .
Khan praised India’s foreign policy during his speech and praised Jaishankar for resisting US pressure to buy oil from Russia. “If India, which gained independence at the same time as Pakistan, can take a firm stand and make its foreign policy according to the needs of its people, then why can’t Pakistan do it?” He asked.
“The United States imposed sanctions on Moscow when war broke out in Ukraine. He ordered India not to buy oil from Russia. Delhi is Washington’s strategic ally. Pakistan is not. Let’s see what India’s foreign minister said when the United States asked them not to buy Russian oil,” Imran said before playing the clip of Jaishankar from his June 3 speech at the Bratislava Forum in Slovakia. .
Responding to a question about India buying Russian oil, Jaishankar retorted: “Won’t buying Russian gas finance the war (the war in Ukraine)? Tell me, Russian gas does not finance the war? Is it only the Indian money, the oil which arrives in India which finances (the war) and not the gas which arrives in Europe?
Pakistan’s coalition government has repeatedly criticized Khan for his pro-India remarks, with some cabinet members sarcastically suggesting that he leave the country and move to India.
Observers see Khan’s remarks as an indirect attempt to pressure Pakistan’s powerful military establishment which plays a key role in the country’s foreign policy. “The civilian government has a symbolic role in Pakistan’s policy towards India, Afghanistan, Iran and the United States. Without military consent, it is almost impossible for the government to make independent decisions regarding ties with Delhi, Kabul, Tehran and Washington,” said Asad Khan, an Islamabad-based analyst.



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