Islamabad (Agencies): Prime Minister Imran Khan has asserted that he would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a “hired gun”, adding that it was the “United States which basically pushed Pakistan away”.
“I would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun – given money to fight someone else’s war,” PM Imran said in an interview with The Washington Post. “We should never put ourselves in this position again. It not only cost us human lives, devastation of our tribal areas, but it also cost us our dignity. We would like a proper relationship with the US,” the premier stated.
“It was not really a Twitter war, it was just setting the record right. The exchange was about being blamed for deeply flawed US policies — the military approach to Afghanistan,” the PM added while commenting on the Twitter exchange between him and the US president Donald Trump.
The prime minister rejected the notion that he is "anti-US", saying that disagreeing with Washington's policies did not make him "anti-American".
"This is a very imperialistic approach. 'You’re either with me or against me'," he said.
When asked if he wanted relations between Pakistan and the US to "warm up", the prime minister responded: "Who would not want to be friends with a superpower?"
The prime minister also condemned the 2011 US operation in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden, saying that it was "humiliating" that the US did not trust Pakistan to kill the terrorist.
"It was humiliating that we were losing our soldiers and civilians and [suffering terrorist] bomb attacks because we were participating in the US war, and then our ally did not trust us to kill bin Laden," he regretted and added that the US "should have tipped off Pakistan".
Welcoming the US bid to engage in talks with the Afghan Taliban, he emphasised that Islamabad did not want the US to leave Afghanistan in a hurry as they did in 1989. “The last thing we want is to have chaos in Afghanistan. There should be a settlement this time. In 1989, what happened was the Taliban emerged out of the chaos.”
“For instance, our relationship with China is not one-dimensional. It’s a trade relationship between two countries. We want a similar relationship with the US,” the PM elaborated.