Islamabad, June 26: Pakistan is searching for a “civilised” and “even-handed” relationship with Washington just like the one which existed between the US and the UK or with India “proper now”, Prime Minister Imran Khan has stated, underlining the function Islamabad may play within the area, together with in Afghanistan after America leaves the war-torn nation.
Khan made the feedback throughout an interview with The New York Occasions through which he additionally expressed his disappointment that his bid to normalise ties with India didn’t make any progress although he approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi quickly after assuming workplace in August 2018.
Within the interview that comes as US President Joe Biden had his first face-to-face assembly together with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghan on the White Home on Friday, Khan recalled that Pakistan has had a more in-depth relationship with the US than different nations within the area, akin to India, and was a US companion within the conflict in opposition to terrorism, Daybreak newspaper reported.
“Now, after the US leaves Afghanistan, principally Pakistan would desire a civilised relationship, which you have got between nations, and we wish to enhance our buying and selling relationship with the US,” he stated.
Requested to elaborate his idea of a civilised relationship, Khan stated he was searching for relations just like the one which existed “between the US and Britain, or between US and India proper now. So, a relationship which is even-handed”.
“Sadly, the connection throughout the conflict on terror was a bit lopsided,” he stated.
“It was a lopsided relationship as a result of the US felt that they had been giving help to Pakistan, they felt that Pakistan then needed to do US” bidding.
“And what Pakistan did when it comes to making an attempt to do the US bidding value Pakistan lots … 70,000 Pakistanis died, and over $150 billion had been misplaced to the financial system as a result of there have been suicide bombings and bombs happening all around the nation,” he stated.
The principle drawback with this lopsided relationship was that “Pakistani governments tried to ship what they weren’t able to,” and it led to a “distrust between the 2 international locations,” Khan stated.
“And folks in Pakistan felt they paid a heavy, heavy worth for this relationship. And the US thought Pakistan had not completed sufficient.”
The prime minister stated that his authorities wished the long run relationship to be based mostly on belief and customary goals, together with a peaceable and steady Afghanistan.
The US and the Taliban have signed a landmark deal in Doha on February 29, 2020 following a number of rounds of negotiations to convey lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and permit US troops to return dwelling, successfully drawing curtains on America”s longest conflict.
Requested if Pakistan will proceed to have any strategic relevance to the US after the pullout, Khan stated: “I do not know, actually. I have not thought of it in that approach, that Pakistan ought to have some strategic relevance to the US.”
Khan stated he couldn’t predict the way forward for the army and safety relationship between Pakistan and the US.
“Put up the US withdrawal, I do not know what kind of army relationship it is going to be. However proper now, the connection needs to be based mostly on this widespread goal that there’s a political resolution in Afghanistan earlier than the USA leaves,” he confused.
Requested if Pakistan was nonetheless utilizing its leverage with the Taliban to maneuver the peace talks in direction of a deal, Khan stated, “Pakistan has used the utmost leverage it may on the Taliban.”
He stated the US determination to repair a date for withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan additionally diminished Pakistan’s leverage on the Taliban.
“On condition that the US gave a date of withdrawal, from then onward, our leverage diminished on the Taliban. And the reason being that the second the USA gave a date of exit, the Taliban principally claimed victory,” Khan stated.
“They’re considering that they gained the conflict. And so, subsequently, our potential to affect them diminishes the stronger they really feel.”
Khan stated Pakistan has been emphasising to the Taliban that they need to not go for a army victory as a result of it will solely result in a protracted civil conflict.
Within the interview, Khan additionally claimed that Pakistan would have had a greater relationship with India if it had a unique authorities and they’d have resolved all their variations by way of dialogue.
“Once I assumed workplace, the very first thing I did was I made this strategy to Prime Minister Modi (to hunt) a standard, civilised buying and selling relationship…We tried however did not get anyplace,” he stated.
“Had there been one other Indian management, I feel we might have had a very good relationship with them. And sure, we might have resolved all our variations by way of dialogue,” Khan claimed.
The strained ties between India and Pakistan deteriorated additional after India introduced withdrawing particular powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories in August 2019.
On the Establishment in Kashmir, Khan stated, “I feel it is a catastrophe for India as a result of it is going to simply imply that this battle festers on and on … and (prevents) any relationship – regular relationship – between Pakistan and India.”
India has informed Pakistan that it wishes regular neighbourly relations with it in an surroundings freed from terror, hostility and violence.
Khan stated the US assumption that India could be the bulwark in opposition to China was unsuitable. “I feel it will be detrimental for India as a result of India’s commerce with China goes to be helpful for each India and China.”
Pakistan, he stated, was “watching the situation unfold and with a bit of tension”.